Boating Facilities Fund
FY 2023 Information:
The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Bureau of Parks and Public Lands is seeking grant proposals that will result in improved recreational boating access to the waters of the State of Maine.
- Projects must be completed by June 30, 2025.
- A minimum 25% cash or in-kind match is required.
- Project proposals are due July 19, 2023.
- A pre-application site inspection must be requested no later than April 19, 2023 and completed by Bureau staff before a grant application is submitted.
Project proposals are due July 19, 2023.
NOTE: The Bureau also offers through an expedited grant process, grants of replacement boarding floats to assist previously funded facilities.
Purpose of the Boating Facilities Fund
- To assist towns, cities, districts and other public and private agencies in the acquisition, development, enhancement, or rehabilitation of boat launching facilities on waters of Maine that are available to the general public.
- Sites on both tidal and non-tidal waters are eligible.
- Funding is available to assist in the development of hand-carry as well as trailered boat launching facilities. However, since the Fund derives its revenue from a portion of the State gasoline taxes generated by recreational motor boat use, priority is given to funding launching facilities that can be used by both motorized and non-motorized watercraft.
- The fund is not intended to provide commercial boating access or non-boating water access, e.g., opportunities for bank fishing, sight-seeing, picnicking, where recreational boat launching is not the principal activity.
- Grants may be monetary or in the form of materials, e.g., floats and concrete planking for ramps.
Who may apply for a grant?
The applicant must have (or be seeking to obtain) right, title or interest in the land to be developed including vehicle access to the property which legally assures that the site will be available to the general public as a recreational boating facility.
What costs are eligible for the grant?
A grant may be used for:
- professional design/engineering services
- approved construction costs
- administrative costs such as advertising for bids and recording deeds
- permit fees paid to external regulators
- construction management and inspection costs.
Land Acquisition Projects (allowed by special exception)
- land appraisal, legal, and other professional services associated with the acquisition of land rights needed for the project
- purchase of land rights up to appraised fair market value.
What costs are not eligible for this grant?
A grant will not pay for:
- expenses incurred prior to the Bureau's approval of an application for funding assistance, except minor planning and design fees
- costs related to non-boating related features such as picnic tables, shelters, trails, etc.
- costs associated with improvements designed to service commercial use
Policies and Guidelines
Policies and guidelines the Bureau follows in processing grant requests:
Match Requirements: Generally, the recreational boating component of facilities will be funded with a match requirement of no less than 25%.
State Interest in Property: The property owner may be expected to grant the State a lease on the property assuring its continued use as a recreational boating facility open to the general public.
Commercial Use of Proposed Facilities: Facilities funded by Boating Facility Funds must be primarily for recreational boating use by the general public. Commercial use of the facilities may be permitted provided the commercial use does not interfere with the recreational use by the general public, including use of the associated parking facilities.
Bidding and Contract Award: Whenever construction is to be contracted, construction work must be competitively bid using Division standard bidding documents and procedures or similar, Bureau-approved bidding documents and procedures. Contracts shall be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder, unless the Division approves otherwise.
User Fees: When grant recipients propose establishing a user fee, the fee must be approved by the Division. The fee must be modest, cannot be punitive towards nonresidents and may only be used to offset documented operating and management costs.
Accessibility: The Bureau will require grant recipients to provide components accessible by persons with disabilities, where feasible, at all new and renovated sites to the greatest extent possible, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and revisions. Accessible components may include, but are not necessarily limited to parking spaces, accessible routes, docks and boarding floats, toilet structures, stairways and signs.
Coordination of State Goals, Policies and Regulations: Grant recipients are expected to plan, site, construct and manage boating access facilities in compliance with all local, state, and federal laws and regulations, and in a manner which complements state goals and plans such as the Growth Management Act.
Land Acquisition Requirements (if approved)
Willing Seller: The property owner(s) has agreed in writing to allow the applicant to consider the purchase of his/her property.
Appraised Value: The property owner is willing to accept a price at or below fair market value for his property based on an appraisal that conforms to Boating Facility Fund appraisal standards.