March 01, 2017 – Ashburn, VA:
IBTS presents their end-of-year report to CDBG-DR Grantee, Cleveland County, pinpointing major milestones achieved in 2016.
The Institute for Building Technology and Safety (IBTS), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, recently presented Cleveland County, Oklahoma, with an end-of-year report, which highlighted the major milestones the two organizations achieved together through the CDBG-DR program.
Cleveland County sustained significant damages from the various tornadoes, wildfires, flooding, straight-line winds, and winter storms that occurred from 2011 to 2013. Because of this, the County was awarded CDBG-DR funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which was signed under the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act. To assist the County in remaining compliant and carrying out projects under this funding, IBTS was contracted as a Sub-Recipient in May of 2016. The Sub-Recipient Agreement was the first of its kind signed in the United States and made IBTS responsible for carrying out permitted activities in conformance with applicable CDBG-DR requirements. The underlying principle of this agreement is that the burden of compliance is imposed upon IBTS, as the Sub-Recipient. IBTS’s responsibilities include: grant management, program oversight, program compliance in all activities, and construction management.
Cleveland County CDBG-DR project milestones are defined as major or minor points in time or statuses that the project must attain in order to progress to 100% completion. At the recent end-of-year report meeting with the County, IBTS cited four major milestones met throughout 2016. The first of these success stories was when IBTS deducted the program administration fees from the non-competitive (RFQ) procurement of an A&E firm through a change order from the engineering firm. The engineering firm was then notified to complete the SAM.gov registration process.
The second milestone occurred when IBTS ensured the Documentation of National Objective was being met. For this, IBTS collaborated with the State, County, and City to develop a telephone survey methodology, successfully completed income verification calls, and submitted the final survey reports to the State. The third milestone cited was achieved by completing a Tie-Back to disaster documents for each project with the required data to ensure that it was properly documented. Finally, IBTS worked to develop a written Duplication of Benefits Affidavit form for all projects and performed Third Party Verification of all possible funding sources.
IBTS strives to “do more for less” by maximizing the efficiency of a small, yet highly skilled, group of seasoned professionals to implement this recovery program. By contracting IBTS as the Sub-Recipient, Cleveland County was able to navigate the complexity of regulations associated with the program objectives, in addition to managing the budget more efficiently. The County now has a $304,899.32 surplus of CDBG-DR funds that can be of use in the remaining six projects.
Cleveland County is now well poised for a successful program with over 65% of environmental, engineering, and construction progress completed and the construction for the remaining projects is scheduled to begin no later than mid-2017. Moving forward, it is IBTS’s responsibility as the Sub-Recipient to be a trusted advisor, facilitating an accelerated construction schedule that will benefit the community and extend additional opportunities to Cleveland County.
“It was clear early in the grant process that HUD has numerous unique requirements and regulations regarding the use of CDBG-DR funds,” says Darry Stacy, Commissioner of Cleveland County. “IBTS has guaranteed our compliance to these requirements and, thus far, they have performed flawlessly. Having IBTS on the team helps to ensure that we are providing the best product to the taxpayer and maximizing our success with the current funds.”
“It has been a pleasure to work with Cleveland County over the past year,” says Blake Ratcliff, Director of Economic Development and Disaster Recovery at IBTS. “IBTS is honored to have the opportunity to help make a difference in this community and complete the projects associated with the CDBG-DR program. Moving forward, we anticipate many more notable milestones to come out of our work together.”
IBTS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to helping communities through quality services that reduce risk, enhance public safety, and improve quality of life. IBTS is headquartered in Ashburn, Virginia with branch offices across the country. IBTS’s work is guided by a Board of Directors made up of government officials appointed by five of the most highly respected, grassroots, state and local governmental associations, including the Council of State Governments (CSG), International City/County Management Association (ICMA), National Association of Counties (NACo), National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center), and National League of Cities (NLC).