Using robust criteria to evaluate the performance of candidate projects is an essential aspect of FUND 2040.
It ensures transparency and objectivity so that the public receives the best return on its investments. Varying project categories would be evaluated differently and may have project-specific factors — for instance, stormwater management would be analyzed differently from a congestion relief project — but they would also have many assessment criteria in common:
High priority will be given to projects with positive economic impacts, such as those caused by increases in business productivity, enhanced real estate values, or avoided water treatment costs.
Many project types — for instance, green infrastructure — will be motivated by positive impacts on the environment. In cases where a project would have negative impacts, this is a strong indication that it should not be funded.
Public safety and health
These benefits may result from projects that reduce hazards like flooding, transportation safety improvements, or from new or improved parks that provide opportunities for physical activity, for example.
Projects that implement local priorities, as stated in an adopted local plan, are much better candidates for fund support than those that do not. "Local plans" in this context can mean comprehensive plans, water asset management plans, stormwater plans, or other local plans that identify priorities for investment.
Improvements to existing infrastructure
Projects should build on and enhance the effectiveness of current infrastructure, supporting development that strengthens existing communities.
Equity and geographic balance
Many projects will seek to improve conditions in communities that need investment the most. Regional infrastructure funding should be distributed fairly across the metropolitan area.
To get the most value from public investment, all projects will be assessed for their efficiency in achieving intended results, and those that strategically combine multiple benefits will score particularly well.
Matching other funds
To stretch public and private resources as far as possible, projects will leverage other funding, particularly to fill a funding gap that would otherwise prevent or delay successful project completion.
Call for Projects
FUND 2040 will use a two-stage annual call for projects. As with the Local Technical Assistance program, CMAP will perform significant outreach to educate potential applicants about eligible project types and application criteria. This two-stage process will facilitate applications from a broad range of projects and applicants via an initial, low-effort phase. Only projects that are a good fit for the program will need to commit to the more substantive effort of the full application. While this process is likely to require more CMAP staff time, it may also generate a more inclusive applicant pool.
The first phase will be an expression of interest. This simple document, which will use the same application form regardless of project type, will require little effort on the part of applicants and allow CMAP to ensure that projects meet basic feasibility and eligibility criteria. Sample criteria include consistency with past plans, local and subregional support, availability of other leveraged funds, and conceptual alignment of the project with GO TO 2040. At this stage, projects will be reviewed by CMAP staff and CMAP working and coordinating committees; CMAP will also solicit feedback from appropriate external partners. Applicants will be interviewed, and staff may complete site visits. Projects that pass this initial evaluation will be invited to complete a full application.
In the second stage, applicants will submit a full proposal that will require significantly more technical information, with applications specific to each major project type. CMAP will complete a thorough technical review of the full proposals. This review will also incorporate CMAP working and advisory committee input, and the agency may also develop appropriate technical committees to provide advisory input on scoring and criteria. Staff will develop a recommended project list, which will be considered by the Coordinating Committee and the CMAP Board.