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Economic Development Government Insider Only News Statewide

Site Readiness Fund sees $15.1M in requests

Katie Tabeling

Thirteen applications were submitted to the state’s inaugural Site Readiness Fund. State officials will now rank each project for funding. | DBT FILE PHOTO

WILMINGTON — Thirteen companies and municipalities have applied for the $10 million in the newly-minted Site Readiness Fund, leaving state officials to decide which to choose in the first stage of selection.

The 13 entitles combined are requesting $15.1 million. The average of all requests came out to be $1.9 million, although grant requests are capped at $1 million.

Three project proposals came from public entities, while 10 proposals came from private partners. The Division of Small Business did not have the information available to break out how many projects were located in Delaware’s three counties.

Gov. John Carney created the $10 million fund after state projections of Fiscal Year 2021 showed the state in a strong position, which was solidified after the state was infused with $1 billion in American Rescue Plan Act funds.

The idea behind the Site Readiness Fund is to accelerate site development for companies interested in Delaware, specifically to make land shovel-ready for construction. In this inaugural round, funding was open to private and public entities and will be divided into two levels. 

Level one grants, which are capped at $100,000, cover projects in the early stages of development and could include surveys, wetland environmental assessments, preliminary planning and engineering, and more. 

Level two grants are awarded for advanced projects, such as infrastructure and utilities, and are available at 50% of the project cost, capped at $1 million.

There is no cap on how many applications a developer or a municipality may submit, although retail and residential projects do not qualify.

In the next step, an internal investment committee will review and rank the applications in early March. Considerations include: likelihood of completion, site marketability, job creation, financial stability and how it may serve the public good.

 Final recommendations will be presented to the appointed Council on Development Finance (CDF) for approval on March 28.

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