Municipal Services Taxing Units (MSTU) are defined geographic areas of unincorporated Pinellas County that have been established by the Board of County Commissioners for the purpose of providing specific government services, law enforcement, recreation services and facilities and other essential municipal services in unincorporated areas. These services and facilities are supported by voter approved ad valorem taxes assigned to those defined geographic areas.
The Board of County Commissioners have budgeted a small amount of MSTU funds for the express purpose of supporting projects that enhance community and neighborhood opportunities in unincorporated areas of Pinellas County. These MSTU Special Projects Awards are intended to support culture, recreation, and community engagement opportunities for residents in unincorporated areas that are comparable to those opportunities which municipalities typically provide to their residents. Pinellas County is accepting applications from eligible non-profit organizations desiring to implement projects for residents of unincorporated Pinellas County according to the guidelines below.
Funding Priorities and Eligible Projects
The County funding priorities for the FY21 Municipal Services Taxing Unit Special Projects Awards are for projects that otherwise are not funded by County Capital Improvement funding sources. Eligible projects include those that enhance recreation, culture, community engagement, preservation of natural resources or are associated with community projects, activities or events which enhance Pinellas County’s unincorporated communities. Examples are:
- Projects that enhance community facilities, property, and equipment.
- Projects that benefit community and family centers, community service organizations, libraries, and recreation complexes.
To be eligible, projects:
- Must be a one-time expenditure.
- Cannot pay for on-going services or programs.
- Cannot span over multiple years or funding cycles.
- Cannot pay for or support salaries, staff costs or operating expenses.
It is anticipated that approximately $220,000.00 in funding will be available in Fiscal Year 2021, subject to the Board of County Commissioners and any subsequent amendments to the approved budget.
The maximum grant award is $20,000.00 per year per applicant.
Project Period Timeframe:
The funding request applications will be accepted on a one-year open application period. All awards are dependent on funding availability and Board approval.
Projects should be completed, and close-out documentation provided within one-year of award. Failure to furnish receipts, validation of completion, or spending funds on unapproved items, may result in the applicant being ineligible for future funding opportunities.
- The applicant organization must be a not-for-profit organization, with a designated tax exempt status under section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) of the United States Internal Revenue Code; be registered with the State of Florida Division of Corporations for at least one (1) year; and be located in Pinellas County.
- The mission of the applicant organization must be consistent with the goals of the County's Strategic Plan.
- Programs proposed by faith organizations must have a secular purpose, must neither advance nor inhibit religion, and must not require worship or religious instruction activities as a condition of participation per Federal guidelines.
- Applicant organizations are required to submit the application electronically through the County's web portal. All materials and required components included with the application are subject to Florida’s public records law and requirements.
- Project requests should be accompanied by 3 comparative quotes for materials and labor to facilitate the proposed project.
- Applicants must use the application form provided on the County's web portal to complete the application. All fields must be completed. Accurate contact information for your organization must be provided.
- All applications will be subject to a Completeness Review to ensure applicants meet all required submission guidelines.
Applicants must use the application form provided on the County's web portal to complete the application. All fields must be Completed. Accurate contact information for your organization must be provided.
All applications will be subject to a Completeness Review to ensure applicants meet all required submission guidelines.
- A copy of the evaluation form is attached as Appendix A.
- Reviewer feedback will be available to applicant organizations to aid them in understanding both the strengths and weaknesses of their application(s).
- A high Evaluation Review does not guarantee that an application will be fully funded. Other criteria (e.g. other unmet needs of the community) may be utilized to determine the final award amount. If full funding is not awarded, organizations may be required to modify their approach in order to align service levels and outcome expectations with the amount awarded.
- The Review Committee recommendations will be presented to the County Administrator for review and approval.
- Final approval of the recommended awards will be made by the Board of County Commissioners. All Board funding decisions are based on availability of funds.
- Organizations will receive advance notification of their award upon Board approval.
- Upon award, County staff will conduct a Technical Assistance meeting with the funding recipient to evaluate opportunities to leverage funds and provide a bridge to other County services should they be available.
Pinellas County reserves the right to:
- cancel the application process;
- accept or reject any or all applications received;
- request any necessary clarifications of an applicant’s data without changing the terms of the proposed program;
- negotiate with any qualified applicant;
- award funding in the best interest of the County;
- cancel the request, in part or its entirety, if it is deemed to be in the best interest of the County;
- reject the project or program of any applicant that has previously failed to perform properly or within the specified time-frame.