The first step to accessing funding and financing options is to gather key stakeholders to compile a list of potential projects that are in need of funding. These stakeholders include representatives involved with all elements of a potential project, e.g.,:

  • Public works stormwater management staff
  • Engineering internal staff and consultants / contractors
  • Finance staff
  • City attorneys and/or outside counsel

Discussions amongst the stakeholders will focus on projects already identified in key planning documents including, e.g.,:

  • Nonpoint source control plans
  • Watershed management plans
  • Capital improvement plans
  • Harbor master plans
  • Project feasibility studies
  • Hazard mitigation plans
  • Climate action plans
  • Recreation plans

Once the list of potential projects is compiled, the stakeholders will need to identify each projects needs and goals by considering:

  • Is the project in the design or construction phase?
  • What is the funding need for the project?
  • What are the project drivers, e.g., flooding, water quality, etc.?
  • What goals will the project accomplish? Will the project accomplish multiple goals simultaneously?
  • Has the community provided input on the project? Does it advance identified community goals and values?

For example, in October 2022 Kewaunee, Wisconsin, community along Lake Michigan’s coastline of approximately 2,800 residents had recently updated their Harbor Master Plan. The updated Plan described 11 “Concepts Plans” for projects on 18 sites. Because these projects were in need of dedicated funding and reflected input from elected officials, city-appointed individuals, city staff, business owners, and informed citizens, the updated Harbor Master Plan served as an ideal starting place for identifying projects in needs and goals.

This threshold analysis is important because the types of available funding will depend on what the municipality’s specific project needs and goals are, and having a clear understanding of these needs and goals will help ensure the best-fit funding options are targeted. To assist with this project compilation process, download this customizable Project List & Priority Template.

Once potential projects list is compiled, Step 2 is to select priority projects for which the municipality will pursue funding. Already know your priority projects? Check out Step 3 – Value Multiple Benefits to access resources for ways to evaluate the co-benefits of investing in resiliency.