Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is the current mileage reimbursement rate?
A: Please see the link below.
2. What is the standard meal allowance rate per day?
Employees who are in travel status for two or more consecutive meals shall be reimbursed for the actual costs of the meals including tax and a reasonable gratuity, up to the combined maximum amount ($36) for the reimbursable meals. Higher meal allowance rates apply to larger metropolitan areas. Please see Chapter 15 of the Commissioner's Plan below for more information.
3. Can a grantee submit a reimbursement request after the grant has expired?
A: Grantees can submit a reimbursement request after the grant has expired, but the grantee will not be reimbursed for charges that were incurred after the grant expired. For example, a grantee submits a reimbursement request to the State on July 20th when the grant expired on June 30th. If the charges on this reimbursement request cover the time period from June 1st-June 30th, the State would reimburse these funds as long as they fit within the approved work plan. If the date range for the incurred expenses was from July 1st-July 19th, the State would not reimburse these funds because the charges were incurred after the grant expired.
Please see your specific grant agreement for more information.
4. Generally, when is the earliest a grantee can begin incurring expenses on their grant agreement?
A: Most grant agreements have language that states that July 1st in the first year of the grant agreement is the earliest date a grantee can incur expenses or the date the work plan is approved, whichever occurs later. Please see your specific grant agreement for more information.
5. When can I expect to be reimbursed for my final reimbursement request?
A: Generally, all final reimbursement requests will be paid out once the final report is received and approved by the LCCMR or LSOHC staff. In unique situations such as a collaborative project like the Metro Big Rivers Habitat Phase 3 project where multiple grantees have grant funds, the final reimbursement request can possibly be paid out prior to a final report being received. Another scenario where this may occur is if you plan to make one land acquisition purchase using all your appropriated grant funds. Please contact your DNR Grants Specialist for further information.
LAND ACQUISITION QUESTIONS
6. The appraised value is over $1,000,000 for a property my organization plans on purchasing, but my organization only plans on using $800,000 of grant funds to acquire the land; would we be required to have a DNR technical review?
A: In this instance, the DNR technical review would be required since the full appraised value of the property is over the $1,000,000 threshold. Please see Attachment E on our Land Acquisition Guidelines webpage for further clarification on these types of scenarios.
7. Do the new ENRTF requirements of submitting the most recent tax assessed value, most recent tax statement of the real property, the amount the recipient plans to offer for the interest in real property, and obtaining written approval from the DNR Commissioner apply only to Minnesota Law 2013 ENRTF appropriation recipients?
A: No, these requirements apply to all ENRTF appropriation recipients who are purchasing land or an interest in land with ENRTF grant funds.
8. Under what circumstances do the updated Attachment E requirements go into effect for land acquisitions?
A: Grantees should go by the Attachment E requirements that are currently in effect at the time they begin the process of purchasing a property or easement. For example, if you started the process to buy the land in March and new Attachment E requirements were sent out in April, you will follow the Attachment E requirements in March for the remainder of the purchasing process for that particular property or easement. If you begin purchasing an easement in May, you will be held to the April Attachment E requirements.
9. Do updated Attachment E requirements apply to grant agreements that do not have Attachment E requirements as part of the original grant agreement?
A: No, Attachment E requirements do not apply to grants that do not have Attachment E requirements as part of the original grant agreement's land and easement acquisition reporting procedures. In these cases, a grantee would have to amend the contract to move to the Attachment E requirements.
10. If a grantee is purchasing land or a conservation easement with two different grant agreements, which grant's land acquisition reporting requirements must be met?
A: The acquisition reporting requirements of each grant agreement must be met in order for the DNR to reimburse or transfer the grantee funds in this particular situation.
11. Can a grantee receive grant funds prior to the closing date for a land acquisition?
A:Yes, the grantee can receive funds one-day prior to the closing date. All documentation needed for the closing must be submitted to your Grants Specialist 2 weeks prior to your closing date to ensure your funds will be transferred on time.
12. Can a grantee close on a land acquisition after the grant expires?
A: The answer depends on what is allowed by law. Environment and Natural Resource Trust Fund appropriations carry language that allows closing after the end date of the grant as long as a binding contract is in place on or before the last day of the grant and the closing occurs within one year of the end of the grant. A signed purchase agreement is considered a binding contract. Please contact your grants specialist well in advance of the end of the grant if you have any questions on whether or not your acquisition will be reimbursable under these circumstances.
13. Are auction fees and buyer's premiums an eligible reimbursable expense?
A: The DNR will pay these costs if it is built into the purchase price, only up to 110% of the appraised value.
14. How does a wire transfer to a designated title company work for land acquisitions?
A: Grantees can request to have funds wired to their title company one day prior to the closing date. The grantee must provide the DNR Grants Specialist with appropriate banking information for the designated title company. The DNR Grants Specialist will work with the DNR's Accounts Payable team and the state's budget agency Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) to ensure the wire is transferred on time. This payment process saves the grantee time by eliminating the step of transferring funds to the title company's account from the account that electronic payments from the DNR are usually deposited in via SWIFT.
15. Are property taxes a reimbursable expense?
A: Yes, property taxes due in and for the grant period are reimbursable from the date of acquisition until the end of the grant period for acquired land that will be conveyed to a governmental entity.