The act creates the rural economic development initiative (REDI) grant program in the department of local affairs (department) to provide grants for projects that create new jobs through a new employer or the expansion of an existing employer and for projects that create diversity and resiliency in the local economies of rural communities. The department is required to administer the REDI grant program in consultation with the Colorado office of economic development.
Entities eligible to receive REDI grant program money include local governments and organizations or individuals working in partnership with a local government, where the local government serves as the grant administrator, including intergovernmental agencies, councils of government, housing authorities, beginning farmers, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, nonprofit economic development organizations, and private employers.
The act specifies criteria that the department is required to consider when evaluating grant applications and requires the department to prioritize applications that would create new jobs. The act specifies the types of projects for which REDI grants may be awarded to eligible recipients and requires grant recipients to provide matching funds.
If the department determines that a rural community needs resources or assistance because it has been impacted by a significant economic event or an anticipated event that has been announced, the department may use all or a portion of the money appropriated for the purposes of the REDI grant program for the purposes of the "Rural Economic Advancement of Colorado Towns (REACT) Act".
The executive director of the department is required to adopt policies and procedures for the administration of the REDI grant program and is also required to produce a report summarizing the use of all money that was awarded as grants from the REDI grant program in the preceding fiscal year.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)