Grants - FAQs

Question: How does OHSP determine what programs will be funded?

Answer: The annual process for determining what projects will receive federal traffic safety funding starts with a thorough analysis of the most recent Michigan traffic crash data that is coordinated by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.  Emphasis is placed on the three highest priority traffic safety performance measures for states:

  • Number of traffic crash fatalities
  • Number of suspected serious injuries
  • Fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled

Multi-year data analysis provides insight into the most critical problems associated with fatal and serious injury crashes.  Crash data is the basis for identifying where, when, how, and why these crashes occur.  Michigan’s annual seat belt observation survey and similar studies also assist with problem identification.

Along with data analysis, the OHSP works with partners and stakeholders to generate input, ideas, and suggestions for possible programming.  This includes the Strategic Highway Safety Action Plan action teams, regional Traffic Safety Networks, and grantees. 

OHSP directs resources toward countermeasures that have demonstrated research-based success at reducing fatalities and serious injuries.  These behavior-based countermeasures are most likely to increase seat belt and child safety seat use, reduce impaired driving as well as compliance with other life-saving traffic safety laws.

Under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, states receive federal funding to support national and state priorities for reducing roadway deaths and injuries.  Michigan also qualifies for funding for occupant protection, impaired driving, state traffic safety information system improvements, motorcyclist safety, and nonmotorized safety (pedestrian and bicycle).

Question: How can I find out if there is available grant money?

Answer: Check the OHSP staff listing for a listing of staff and their program area. Match the traffic safety issue with the program area and either send the OHSP staff person an email or call them directly.

Question: What is meant by "cost reimbursement" grant funding?

Answer: Reimbursement means grant-funded agencies must first expend their own money for activities identified in the grant application. Agencies will then be reimbursed by OHSP for actual costs incurred.

Question: What costs are eligible for reimbursement?

Answer: Only costs identified in the grant application budget are eligible for reimbursement. Support documentation showing actual costs expended must be included when submitting a quarterly or monthly financial report for reimbursement.

Question: What documents would be considered "supporting documentation" for cost reimbursement?

Answer: Copies of invoices, officer dailies, checks for contractual payments or equipment purchases, and account or fund expenditure reports, are examples of supporting documentation.

Question: How are "actual costs" different from the "budget costs" identified in the grant application?

Answer: Budgeted costs that are identified in the application are projections based on expected activity. Costs eligible for reimbursement are the actual expenses incurred to support grant activity. As an example, an equipment cost included in the budget may be a projection based on current valuations. However, the actual cost may be different at the time of the purchase. The actual cost paid is the amount that can be reimbursed.

Question: Does a separate account to track costs associated with the grant activity need to be established?

Answer: A means of separating expenses for grant activity from general or other agency costs must be established. Depending on the agency accounting procedures, this can be accomplished through a separate account, a separate fund, or through specifically identified budget lines.

Question: What should I do if I can't meet the deadline because I'm missing supporting documents?

Answer: Cost statements need to be submitted by the due dates. Submitting a cost statement without support documentation will prevent a delinquency notice from being issued. However a reimbursement will not be made until appropriate documentation is identified and submitted. It may be necessary to contact the OHSP Financial Coordinator to determine if substitute documentation will suffice. The cost statement should contain a notice that support documentation will follow, or that contact with our office will be made by your financial officer.

Question: Do I need to submit a cost statement if there were no costs incurred for the reporting period?

Answer: Yes. Cost statements should indicate $0 costs and be submitted by the due date.

Question: Who should I contact if I have financial questions regarding our grant?

Answer: The program coordinator in your grant approval letter should be able to answer your questions, or you may contact Spencer Simmons, OHSP Fiscal Manager, at 517-284-3136.