(1) A call center that has received locate requests during the prior calendar year may apply for a training and educational grant.
(2) A grant application must be in writing, and:
(a) must address the following topics:
(i) the name of applicant;
(ii) the number of locate requests received by the applicant in the prior calendar year;
(iii) a description of each specific educational or training program that the applicant proposes to conduct;
(iv) the estimated cost or budget for each program identified in (iii); and
(v) a description of the audience each proposed program plans to target; and
(b) may provide such other information relevant to the applicant's existing or proposed programs, and should include an explanation of how the proposed programs will promote public safety with regards to underground facilities.
(3) Each call center in the state may submit one grant application per calendar year due on December 31. The department, in consultation with the advisory council, will review the applications and award one grant by March 31 for the previous calendar year application period.
(4) The amount of the grant will be the total amount of civil penalties and fines collected in the previous fiscal year.
(5) Grants will be awarded to call centers on an equitable basis, based upon the number of locate requests made in the prior year to all applicants. The equitable allocation may be affected by projected changes in the expected number of locate requests likely to occur during the next year.
(6) If no grant applications are received in a given year, the grant funds will roll over into the following year's grant amount.
(7) The department shall consult with the advisory council in determining how to distribute available grant funding. In making the grant distribution, the department will consider:
(a) whether the applicant has timely made reports as required by ARM 24.301.1012;
(b) the apparent effectiveness of the applicant's previous and existing educational and training programs, as judged by the frequency of incidents reported by the call center versus the number of locate requests made;
(c) whether the proposed programs integrate or coordinate with similar programs operated or proposed by other applicants;
(d) any trends or patterns of excavation activity that tend to show the need for a geographically targeted program to reach excavators and the public; and
(e) any other factors that the call center deems relevant to the grant application.