7 CFR § 1781.12 - Preapplication and application processing.
(a) WS and RCD loans -
(i) The processing office or other person designated by the Rural Development State Director may assist the applicant in completing SF 424.1, “Application for Federal Assistance (For Non-construction),” and will forward one of SF 424.1 to the Rural Development State Director.
(ii) The Rural Development State Director will review SF 424.1 along with other necessary information and will coordinate selection of preapplications to be processed with NRCS. He will consult with NRCS State Conservationist concerning the status of the WS plan or RCD measure plan, the estimated time schedule for construction and cost of the proposed works to be installed with the loan, cost sharing funds to be made available to the applicant, and other pertinent information.
(iii) Form AD-622, “Notice of Preapplication Review Action,” will be prepared and signed by the Rural Development State Director within forty-five (45) days from receipt of the preapplication in the processing office stating the results of the review action. An original and one copy of Form AD-622 will be sent to the processing office who will deliver the original to the applicant.
(i) The application includes applicable forms and information indicated in RUS Instruction 1780. When the Rural Development State Director determines that an application will be further processed and Form AD-622 is delivered, he will designate a community program specialist (field), or a member of the community program staff to assist the processing office and the applicant with assembling and processing the application.
(ii) The processing office should arrange needed conferences with the applicant and its legal and engineering consultants, and when necessary, arrange for review of other Rural Development officials, and provide bulletins, forms, instructions and other assistance with assembling and processing the application. A processing checklist and time schedule will be established by using Form RD 1942-40, “Processing Check List (Public Bodies),” or Form RD 1942-39, “Processing Check List (Other than Public Bodies).” The processing office will send a letter and a copy of the processing checklist to the applicant to confirm decisions reached at the conference. The original and a copy of the processing checklist will be kept in the processing office and will be posted current as application processing actions are taken. The copy will be circulated from the processing office to the State Office for use in updating copies of the forms retained, after which it will be returned from the State Office to the processing office.
(3) Dockets. WS loan, WS advance, and RCD loan dockets will be developed and assembled in accordance with applicable RUS Instruction 1780.
(b) Watershed advances. Applications for WS advances will be developed and processed with NRCS assistance as necessary.
(1) The Rural Development State Director will arrange with the NRCS State Conservationist to be advised when a local sponsoring organization applies to NRCS for a WS advance.
(2) The Rural Development State Director will request the NRCS State Conservationist to provide information justifying the WS advance along with a written recommendation that it be made. This will include:
(i) Economic feasibility of the proposed WS advance.
(ii) Evidence of the legal authority of the sponsoring local organization to incur the obligation and make required payments.
(iii) Any limitations on the issuance of additional bonds or notes which may be imposed by the provisions of bond ordinances or on resolutions which authorize the issuance of any outstanding obligation of the sponsoring local organization.
(iv) The amount of WS advance funds to be provided, purpose for which funds will be used, and date funds will be needed.
(3) When the above information has been made available to the Rural Development State Director, he will send written recommendations concerning further action on the WS advance request to the NRCS State Conservationist including actions to be taken in the preparation of the WS advance docket.
(c) Combination WS loans and WS advances. If an applicant requests both a WS loan and WS advance, the application for the WS loan should indicate the amount of the WS advance needed and whether a request for it has been made to NRCS. The Rural Development State Director and the NRCS State Conservationist will coordinate applicable processing actions of such applications. When the Rural Development State Director determines that favorable consideration will be given to an application for a loan or advance, he will provide instructions to the processing office for completing and processing the appropriate docket. Any questions concerning eligibility or other legal matters should be cleared with the Regional Attorney.
(d) Review of decision. When it is determined that the preapplication or application cannot be given favorable consideration, the Rural Development State Director will return it to the processing office along with written reasons. When the processing office receives this information, it will notify the applicant in writing of the reasons why the request was not favorably considered. The notification to the applicant will state that the RUS Administrator may be requested to review the decision. This action will be taken in accordance with § 1780.37 of this chapter.
(1) Upon receipt of the State Office copy of a review request from the applicant, the Rural Development State Director will furnish a report on the matter to the Administrator.
(2) The Administrator will notify the applicant and the Rural Development State Director in writing of his decision and the reasons therefore.