SEARCH - Special Evaluation Assistance for Rural Communities and Households in Iowa


What does this program do?

This program helps very small, financially distressed rural communities with predevelopment feasibility studies, design and technical assistance on proposed water and waste disposal projects.

Who may apply?

  • Most state and local governmental entities
  • Nonprofits
  • Federally recognized tribes

What is an eligible area?

Areas to be served must be rural and financially distressed:

  • Rural areas with a population of 2,500 or less
  • Have a median household income below the poverty line or less than 80 percent of the statewide non-metropolitan median household income based on latest Census data

How may the funds be used?

To pay predevelopment planning costs, including:

  • Feasibility studies to support applications for funding water or waste disposal projects
  • Preliminary design and engineering analysis
  • Technical assistance for the development of an application for financial assistance

Are there additional requirements?

The predevelopment planning costs must be related to a proposed project that meets the following requirements:

  • Construct, enlarge, extend or improve rural water, sanitary sewage, solid waste disposal and storm wastewater disposal facilities
  • Construct or relocate public buildings, roads, bridges, fences or utilities, and to make other public improvements necessary for the successful operation or protection of facilities
  • Relocate private buildings, roads, bridges, fences, or utilities, and other private improvements necessary for the successful operation or protection of facilities

How do we get started?

  • Applications for this program are accepted year round through your local RD office.
  • Program resources are available online (i.e., forms, guidance, certifications, etc.).

What governs this program?

  • Code of Federal Regulations, Title 7, Part 1774 - 7 CFR 1774
  • Section 306 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act

Why does USDA Rural Development do this?

To help very small, financially distressed rural communities extend and improve water and waste treatment facilities that serve local households and businesses.

To begin the process of applying for a Special Evaluation Assistance for Rural Communities and Households (SEARCH) Grant, complete and submit the following documents to the appropriate offices and individuals listed on the Contact Tab for this program. Please use this as a checklist and submit with the listed applications documents.

  • SF 424, Application for Federal Assistance
  • SF 424A, Budget Information Non-Construction Programs
  • SF 424B, Assurances
  • Instructions for Obtaining a DUNS #
  • SAM.GOV registration is required for all applicants applying for federal assistance
  • Resolution of Applicant's Board Authorizing Application
  • Organizational Documents/Articles of Incorporation and By-laws, including all amendments (Nonprofit Organizations Only)
  • Most current Fiscal Year's Audit or Year-End Financial Report with Balance Sheet and Income Statement (Forms RD 442-2 and RD 442-3 or similar format may be used)
  • Current Fiscal Year's Operating Budget for Enterprise (Form 442-2 or similar format may be used)
  • Certification that other credit is not available
  • Written Project Plan – provide details on the activities or tasks to be accomplished, objectives, timetables for completion and anticipated results
  • Draft Engineering Agreement
  • Certifications including:
    • Form RD 400-1, Equal Opportunity Agreement
    • Form RD 400-4, Assurance Agreement
    • AD-1047, Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, and Other Responsibility Matters
    • AD-1049, Certification Regarding Drug-Free Workplace Requirements
    • Form RD 1940-Q Exhibit A-1, Certification for Contracts, Grants and Loans Form
    • AD-3030, Representations Regarding Felony Conviction and Tax Delinquent Status for Corporate Applicants (Nonprofit Organizations Only)

NOTE: Please select your state in the dropdown menu above to find the state office contact information and speak to a program specialist before attempting to fill out any forms or applications. This will save you time in completing your application.

National Architect Requirements:

There are no other architect, engineering or environmental requirements at the national level. If there are additional state-specific requirements they will be listed above. 

There are no other additional requirements at the national level. If there are additional state-specific requirements they will be listed above.

There are currently no events scheduled.

Kate Sand
Community Programs Director in Iowa
ph: 515-284-4459
Kate.Sand@usda.gov

Area Office Contacts
 
Area 1 - Iowa Falls Area Office
 Brandon Shaw, Community Programs Specialist
 840 Brooks Road
 Iowa Falls, IA 50126
 Phone: 641-648-5181 Ext. 4 Fax: 866-255-6573
 Brandon.Shaw@usda.gov


Counties Served: Butler, Cerro Gordo, Floyd, Franklin, Grundy, Hardin, Marshall, Mitchell, Tama and Worth
 
Area 2 - Waverly Area Office
 Deborah Dunn, Community Programs Specialist
 1510 3rd Street, SW
 Waverly, IA 50677
 Phone: 319-352-1715 Ext. 4 Fax: 866-255-6573
 Deborah.Dunn@usda.gov


Counties Served: Allamakee, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Chickasaw, Clayton, Delaware, Fayette, Howard, and Winneshiek

Area 3 - Tipton Area Office
 Julie Ford, Community Programs Specialist
 127 West South Street
 Tipton, IA 52772
 Phone: 563-886-6006 Ext. 4 Fax: 866-255-6573
 Julie.Ford@usda.gov


Counties Served: Benton, Cedar, Clinton, Dubuque, Iowa, Jackson, Johnson, Jones, Linn, and Scott
 
Area 4 - Mt. Pleasant Area Office
 Sheri Rice, Community Programs Specialist
 709 S. Iris Street, Suite 103
 Mount Pleasant, IA 52641
 Phone: 319-986-5800 Ext. 4 Fax:  855-251-2237
 Sheryl.Rice@usda.gov


Counties Served: Des Moines, Henry, Jefferson, Keokuk, Lee, Louisa, Muscatine, Van Buren, and Washington
 
Area 5 - Albia Area Office
 Ellen Walker, Community Programs Specialist
 1709 South "B" Street
 Albia, IA 52531
 Phone: 641-932-3031 Ext. 4 Fax: 855-251-2237
 Ellen.Walker@usda.gov


Counties Served: Appanoose, Davis, Jasper, Lucas, Mahaska, Marion, Monroe, Poweshiek, Wapello, and Wayne
 
Area 6 - Indianola Area Office
 Nick Nolte, Community Programs Specialist
 909 East 2nd Avenue, Suite C
 Indianola, IA 50125
 Phone: 515-961-5365 Ext. 4 Fax: 855-251-2238
 Nick.Nolte@usda.gov


Counties Served: Adair, Clarke, Dallas, Decatur, Guthrie, Madison, Polk, Ringgold, Union, and Warren

Area 7 - Atlantic Area Office
 Dee Fisher, Community Programs Specialist
 Jessica Bass, Community Programs Specialist
 511 West 7th Street
 Atlantic, IA 50022
 Phone: 712-243-2107 Ext. 4 Fax: 855-251-2238
 Dee.Fisher@usda.gov
 Jessica.Bass@usda.gov


Counties Served: Adams, Audubon, Cass, Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Montgomery, Page, Pottawattamie, Shelby, and Taylor

Area 8 - Le Mars Area Office
 Tyler Koopman, Community Programs Specialist
 1100 12th Street SW, Suite C
 Le Mars, IA 51031
 Phone: 712-546-5149 Ext. 4 Fax: 855-251-2245
 Tyler.Koopman@usda.gov


Counties Served: Cherokee, Crawford, Ida, Lyon, Monona, O'Brien, Osceola, Plymouth, Sioux, and Woodbury

Area 9 - Storm Lake Area Office
 Whitney Pedersen, Community Programs Specialist
 1619 North Lake Avenue
 Storm Lake, IA 50588
 Phone: 712-732-1851 Ext. 4 Fax: 855-251-2245
 Whitney.Pedersen@usda.gov


Counties Served: Buena Vista, Calhoun, Carroll, Clay, Dickinson, Emmet, Greene, Palo Alto, Pocahontas, and Sac

Area 10 - Humboldt Area Office
 Preston Sandstrom, Community Programs Specialist
 1301 6th Avenue North, Suite 1
 Humboldt, IA 50548
 Phone: 515-332-4411 Ext. 4 Fax: 855-251-2245
 Preston.Sandstrom@usda.gov


Counties Served: Boone, Hamilton, Hancock, Humboldt, Kossuth, Story, Webster, Winnebago, and Wright