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ToolkitLCC Program Information

Reimbursement & Direct Grants

Grant recipients do not automatically receive payment if an LCC approves their grant request. The LCC Program is reimbursement-based; recipients need to spend the money and then be reimbursed from LCC funds. Beginning once the LCC completes their reporting to Mass Cultural Council (November - January) and continuing throughout the year, grant recipients can submit their reimbursement requests. In order to avoid complications, councils should specify exactly what kind of documentation a grantee needs to provide in order to be reimbursed in the approval letter. Councils should also check with their town/city to see if they have specific requirements. Grantees have one year from the date of the award notification to request reimbursement, unless the council approves an extension. The following steps outline the process:

Reimbursement Process

To initiate the reimbursement process, grant recipients must submit their reimbursement request, using the reimbursement form (PDF) provided by the council.

A formal meeting of the council is not required to approve reimbursement requests, as long as the council has established a subcommittee of at least two members to review requests for payment of work completed. In order to ensure timely payment to grantees, the council should process reimbursements as they arrive, and take no longer than four weeks to forward approved reimbursement requests to the municipal treasurer.

Adults with a child holding a colorful quilt If the council, or subcommittee, is satisfied that the project has been completed as promised, two members sign the reimbursement form and forward the request to the municipal treasurer to release funds from the council's account. The LCC must retain a copy of the documentation provided by the applicant with the application as part of the council's records.

If the council is not satisfied that the project was completed as promised, the council must contact the grantee with their concerns and allow the grantee the opportunity to respond. Two council members and the grantee may work out a compromise solution, which should be finalized in writing (email or hard copy). If a compromise cannot be agreed upon, the council must convene a quorum of LCC members to vote on the request and/or any compromise solution put forward by the grantee or council. The results should be reflected in the meeting minutes, and the grantee should be given final notification in writing (email or hard copy) as to the outcome of the vote.

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Progress Payments

Progress payments are reimbursements made before the project is complete. They can be made at the discretion of the LCC but should be proportionate to the percentage of the project that has been completed.

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Third-Party Vendors

Reimbursements can be directed to third-party vendors who have provided goods, materials or services to the recipient. The LCC must retain a copy of the documentation provided by the applicant with the application as part of the council's records.Farmer reaching for a tree branch

To reimburse a third-party vendor the grantee simply needs to check off that option on the reimbursement form and supply the name and address of the vendor to be paid. The grantee should sign the reimbursement form, not the third-party vendor. However, if the municipality requires a completed tax form such as a W-9 or 1099, the third party vendor should complete that documentation since they will receive the payment.

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Council Programs

Please note that because the Local Cultural Council is a municipal entity, any expenses or programs, included Council Programs that use Mass Cultural Council's allocation, must be reimbursement-based. Council members must keep track of receipts and other proof of expenditures and submit them to the municipality using a Reimbursement Form once the project or purchase has been completed.

Direct Grant Program

The 53 LCCs taking part in the direct grant program must follow the grant cycle timeline outlined in the FY21 Direct Grant Program Guidelines and Instructions. All other LCCs and their applicants should continue to adhere to the standard grant cycle timeline.

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