A. Quorum and Voting Requirements.
1. Four members of the Committee constitute a quorum for purposes of any action by the Committee. For purposes of the term limit under Section 27-05.2-09(2), service for more than one-half of a regular term is considered service for a full term.
2. A majority vote of members in attendance at a meeting is necessary for final Committee action. Final Committee action for which a majority vote is required does not include:(a) An extension of time up to nine (9) months to complete a grant-awarded project. A request for an extension beyond nine (9) months must be approved by a majority of the members.(b) Approval of minor project modifications which do not substantially affect the project costs.In these instances, the chairperson is authorized to act on behalf of the committee.
B. Applications for Grants.
1. The board of commissioners of a county may submit an application requesting grant funds for a future court facility improvement or maintenance project, or both.
2. An application must be submitted by June 1 to be eligible for review by July 1 or December 31 to be eligible for review by January 31 under Section C5.
3. The application must be submitted on the form supplied by the Committee.
4. The application must fully describe the court facility improvement or maintenance project for which grant funds are requested.
5. The application must indicate the estimated cost, including material, labor, and associated expenses, the estimated starting date of the project and the estimated completion date of the project.
6. The application must indicate the county will provide local funding for the project in an amount equal to at least 25% of the total cost of the project. In-kind contributions, such as the payment for county employee labor costs, will not be considered for purposes of satisfying the 25% contribution by the county. The amount of local funding must be included in the application.
C. Application Review.
1. The Committee Chair shall ensure meetings are scheduled in such a manner as to ensure an application is reviewed and a grant decision reached in a timely and expeditious manner.
2. The Committee may request that an oral presentation in support of an application be made by representatives of the requesting board of commissioners. Any expenses associated with the presentation must be paid by the affected county.
3. When considering an application, Committee members shall initially determine, by majority vote:(a) whether the project for which grant funds are requested is a project dedicated to facilities improvement (to include essential remodeling) or maintenance, or both; and(b) whether the affected facilities are used for chambers, courts, or court-related services. For purposes of this requirement, "court-related services" means services provided by statute or supreme court rule that directly serve the judicial system and the effective and efficient provision of judicial services to the public.4. If an application qualifies under paragraph 3 for further review, the Committee shall next determine, by majority vote, whether the project:(a) is a necessary improvement to the affected court facility; or(b) is essential to remodel or maintain the facility.5. The Committee shall assemble all available qualifying applications by July 1 and January 31 of each year and determine on a comparative basis, and in light of available funds, the order in which funds should be granted.
6. The Committee may, as circumstances warrant, require that a requesting county provide local funding in an amount greater than 25% of the total cost of the project. The Committee may determine the manner in which grant funds will be disbursed, including disbursement of a portion of the grant upon commencement of the project and disbursement of the remaining grant amount in increments until the project is completed, disbursement of the entire grant amount upon completion of the project, or disbursement of the entire grant amount upon commencement of the project.
7. The Committee shall promptly notify the affected board of commissioners in writing of the Committee's decision regarding an application. If a grant is awarded, the notification must inform the board that the project must be commenced, absent good cause, within 120 days of the notification.
D. Project Requirements.
1. Grant funds will not be awarded for projects that have already been completed or commenced. An exception may be considered for complex or extended projects that are to be completed in phases or installments. A separate application must be completed, submitted, and considered by the committee for each project phase or installment.
2. If grant funds are awarded, the project must be commenced, absent good cause, within four (4) months of notification of the award. The board of commissioners of the affected county must inform the Committee of the date on which the project is commenced and provide quarterly progress reports until the project is completed.
3. If grant funds are awarded, the project must be completed, absent good cause, within one calendar year from the notification of the award. If grant funds are not used within one calendar year, the committee may grant an extension if good cause exists for the delay or may rescind the grant award in full or in part.
4. The county is responsible for all project costs that exceed the estimated costs submitted in the application for grant funds. In the event the actual project costs are lower than the estimated costs submitted in the application, the grant award is reduced by the amount of the excess.
E. Allocation of Funds - Limitation.
The Committee shall ensure that at all times an amount equal to twenty-five percent of available funds is available for applications submitted by counties with a population fewer than seven thousand five hundred based on the most recent federal census.
Approved by the Supreme Court 07/07/04; amended effective 04/12/06; amended effective 08/01/17.
Note: N.D.C.C. §27-05.2-09(3) requires that the rules of operation be submitted to "the supreme court for approval."