Information about the Application
Included on the Application page is a link to the Conservation Bank grant application form. This application will allow you to apply for funding for your proposal and will give the Bank the required information to make a decision as to whether your proposal is acceptable. Please note that the application is in several sections, which should be filled out as completely as possible. The Bank realizes that a number of the requirements of this statute are expensive and difficult to obtain. For that reason, several of these requirements have been placed in Phase two so that you will have some idea of favorability of the Bank acceptance prior to having to meet these requirements. Non-acceptance of your proposal does not mean that it is not a good proposal nor does it prevent your proposal from being re-submitted in another budget cycle. The Bank requests two copies of the application. One copy of the application should be emailed and one hard copy (softbound binders are preferred, 3 ring binders are too large) should be mailed to the SC Conservation Bank at 1201 Main Street, Suite 1820, Columbia, SC 29201.
The grant application for the South Carolina Conservation Bank contains four basic areas. It should be noted that the grant application is a competitive process wherein determination by the Board of priority funding status is made by comparison of the significant criteria associated with each proposal. These criteria serve to provide information to the Bank about the proposal in the most objective manner. The basic areas are:
- The first general area contains information about the qualified entity and the landowner. Each question in this area addresses a statutory requirement.
- Natural Resource Criteria: This area reviews 11 criteria that make this proposal unique and significant. In other words, why does the conservation and protection of this landscape improve the quality of life in South Carolina? The score in this area represents 55% of the total proposal score.
- Financial Criteria: This section contains five criteria that relate to how much, if any, leverage or matching funds are involved with the proposal. It should be noted that the Act does not require that there be any leverage but it is important in determining a proposal’s score in the competitive process. This area counts for 28% of the proposal score.
- Public Access: The Conservation Bank Board realizes that for some easements on significant lands wide public use cannot be attained. For that reason, public access has been defined in three different categories so that some score will be gained and encouraged by allowing a degree of limited public access. It should be noted that public access is not a requirement of the Act but is nonetheless important in determining a proposal’s score. This area counts for 17% of the proposal score.
In an effort to reduce costs and time in filling out the application for funding, the Bank has worked to make the initial phase of the application as simple as possible. If properly filled out, the application form should give the Bank enough information to decide whether to proceed further with your proposal.
The South Carolina Conservation Bank Act requires that any conservation easement funded by the Bank must be held by an eligible trust fund recipient. For a complete list of qualified entities and contact information, please visit the Qualified Entities page.
Should the Bank decide that your proposal is significant, there are a number of required items that must be provided before closing or before any funds are disbursed. These items are as follows:
- The recipient of a loan made to an eligible trust fund recipient must obtain an acceptable Title Insurance Policy with the SC Conservation Bank as a named insured or a written statement of intent to insure from a qualified insurance company. The eligible trust fund recipient must indemnify the SC Conservation Bank as to title in the amount of any grants made to the eligible trust fund recipient by a title insurance policy obtained by the grant recipient. If any funds are paid as a result of a faulty title or abrogation of the easement, said funds revert to the SC Conservation Bank in the appropriate amounts. This indemnification must be made prior to any distribution of funds.
- A general management plan and how the land will be used.
- A phase 1 environmental hazard assessment. No distribution of funds will be made until the land meets all state and federal environmental laws and regulations.
- A qualified and competent appraisal establishing a fair market value and/or the value of the proposed easement.
No funding will be made without such appraisal.
The contents of the appraisal are confidential prior to a grant or loan or subsequent acquisition interests in land being obtained with such grant or loan.
Approved Appraiser List: Please choose an appraiser from this list, or contact the Conservation Bank with a request to add a new appraiser to the list. The Criteria for Appraisers are listed here: Criteria for appraisers (Adobe PDF)
Should the information provided by the above items be in substantial conflict with the information provided in Phase 1 the SC Conservation Bank has the right to cancel the grant request and re-prioritize other proposals.
We appreciate your interest and commitment to conservation and look forward to working with you to keep South Carolina a special place. If we can be of any help in this process or if you need additional information, please feel free to contact us.