Community Development Program
Victoria Electric Cooperative, Inc.
Our mission is to stimulate growth in the communities we serve, through a mutual excitement and understanding of the cooperative spirit, empowering organizations to work together to make a difference for generations to come.
About The Program
Texas legislation was passed allowing electric cooperatives to use escheated funds for rural scholarships, economic development, and energy efficiency. Therefore, Victoria Electric Cooperative, Inc. (VEC) has created an economic development fund. The Community Development Program provides grants from this economic development fund for capital projects that support community and economic development and will be of significant benefit to VEC members and the public. VEC awards grants to local governments and non-profit groups such as civic organizations, schools, volunteer fire departments, libraries, emergency medical services, museums, and historical associations within the counties served by VEC.
Most local governments and non-profit organizations in the counties served by VEC are eligible to apply for a VEC Community Development Grant.
Projects must meet the following criteria to be eligible for a Community Development Grant:
- Projects must be for capital improvements.
- The grant applicant must be the property owner where the project is located.
- Projects must be within the counties served by VEC (see list of eligible counties).
- Projects must be of significant benefit to VEC members.
- Grants of $2,500 or more require a minimum 50 percent match of the total project cost; matching funds must be documented in the application.
- For grants above $2,000, the grant recipient must post signage that clearly, permanently, and publicly acknowledges the sponsorship of VEC at the site of the project.
- The project must be maintained for the public purpose for which the grant was awarded.
- Grant applications must be signed by the chief executive officer of the organization requesting the grant.
- Grant recipients must allow VEC to take and publicly post pictures of the grant being awarded.
- The project must be completed within 12 months of the date the grant is awarded.
- Upon completion of the project, the grant recipient must submit a final report with a photograph of the completed project.
- Failure to complete the project on schedule or abide by the terms of the agreement may result in VEC requiring the recipient to return the grant.
The types of projects that are not eligible include:
- completed projects
- religious or church-sponsored facilities that can only be used by church members
- social service projects
- land acquisition projects
- program operating costs
- debt-reduction campaigns
- seminars and conference fees
- computer equipment or software
- most functions carried out by a taxing entity
- office equipment
- batteries for equipment
COUNTIES IN WHICH VEC COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT GRANTS MAY BE AWARDED
Maximum Grant Amounts And Program Goals
Two-thirds of the grant money is available for grants of $2,000 or less, while one-third of the grant money is available for grants up to $5,000.
Emphasis is placed on projects that align with our program goals:
- Encourage economic diversity
- Contribute to the health and development of a community to improve the attractiveness of the community to public and private enterprises; or
- Improve the quality and/or quantity of services essential for the development of viable communities and economic growth, including services related to education, community planning, recreation, health care, public safety, employment, training, or transportation.
The following documents are required for a complete application. Please do not send information that was not requested and do not send binders. Submit three packets of paperwork (one original and two copies).
Please clip each packet of requested information together. Do not staple.
- Copy of organization’s State of Texas or IRS determination letter, if applicable
- Application form (attach additional pages if necessary)
- Most recent IRS Form 990, if applicable
- Financial statement
- Program narrative
- Budget summary (include vendor quotes or estimates and a copy of balance sheet or current bank statement)
- Project timeline, including the estimated completion date of all phases of the project
- Pictures of the project, if applicable
- List of the elected body or board of directors for the requesting organization, including names, current email addresses, and phone numbers (please notify us if there are changes on your board after you submit your application)
NOTE: All potential applicants are encouraged to contact us for more information regarding eligibility requirements before submitting an application as some of the requirements may have changed.
Grant Application Process
VEC determines annually if funding is available for Community Development grants. In years in which funds are available, grants will be awarded once a year. Applications received by the deadline are reviewed by the VEC Employee Relations Committee (ERC). The ERC will present selected recipients to the VEC Board of Directors for approval. All decisions made by the board are final and cannot be appealed. Grants awarded may be lower than the amount requested, depending on the number and types of projects being funded. Grant recipients are notified by the VEC staff. A grant check will be distributed following the execution of a letter of agreement with the recipient. The number of grant applications received will likely exceed available funding. Eligible applicants who do not receive a grant due to funding limits may reapply during future grant cycles. Decisions regarding awarded grants are within the sole discretion of the Community Development Review Committee and may not be appealed. Communicating with members of the Community Development Review Committee about a pending grant application is not allowed. An entity receiving a grant must wait a full 24 months following the official close out of the previous grant before it is eligible to submit for another project.
Where To Submit Applications
Submit completed applications in person or by mail to:
Victoria Electric Cooperative, Inc.
Attn: VEC Community Development Program
P.O. BOX 2178
Victoria, Texas 77902
Phone: (361) 573-2428
DO NOT FAX OR EMAIL APPLICATIONS
APPLICATIONS DUE APRIL 1ST
Applications must be received – not postmarked – by 5 p.m. on the day of the deadline. If the deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, it will be extended to the next regular business day. Application reviews take approximately 10 weeks to complete from the deadline until funding. Be sure to take this into account when planning your project. Late applications, incomplete applications, or improperly completed applications will be ruled ineligible. Staff can review draft applications and provide feedback if submitted at least three weeks in advance of the deadline. Grant decisions will be announced in June.