For purposes of this section, the following terms have the meanings given.
(a) "Community" means a town, township, city, or targeted neighborhood within a city, or a consortium of towns, townships, cities, or targeted neighborhoods within cities.
(b) "Older adult services" means any services available under the elderly waiver program or alternative care grant programs; nursing facility services; transportation services; respite services; and other community-based services identified as necessary either to maintain lifestyle choices for older Minnesotans, or to promote independence.
(c) "Older adult" refers to individuals 65 years of age and older.
The community services development grants program is created under the administration of the commissioner of human services.
The commissioner shall make grants available to communities, providers of older adult services identified in subdivision 1, or to a consortium of providers of older adult services, to establish older adult services. Grants may be provided for capital and other costs including, but not limited to, start-up and training costs, equipment, and supplies related to older adult services or other residential or service alternatives to nursing facility care. Grants may also be made to renovate current buildings, provide transportation services, fund programs that would allow older adults or disabled individuals to stay in their own homes by sharing a home, fund programs that coordinate and manage formal and informal services to older adults in their homes to enable them to live as independently as possible in their own homes as an alternative to nursing home care, or expand state-funded programs in the area.
The commissioner of health shall give priority to a grantee selected under subdivision 3 when awarding technology-related grants, if the grantee is using technology as part of the proposal unless that priority conflicts with existing state or federal guidance related to grant awards by the Department of Health. The commissioner of transportation shall give priority to a grantee under subdivision 3 when distributing transportation-related funds to create transportation options for older adults unless that preference conflicts with existing state or federal guidance related to grant awards by the Department of Transportation.
The commissioner of health may waive applicable state laws and rules on a time-limited basis if the commissioner of health determines that a participating grantee requires a waiver in order to achieve demonstration project goals.
Grants may be awarded only to communities and providers or to a consortium of providers that have a local match of 50 percent of the costs for the project in the form of donations, local tax dollars, in-kind donations, fund-raising, or other local matches.
The commissioner of human services shall give preference when awarding grants under this section to areas where nursing facility closures have occurred or are occurring or areas with service needs identified by section 144A.351. The commissioner may award grants to the extent grant funds are available and to the extent applications are approved by the commissioner. Denial of approval of an application in one year does not preclude submission of an application in a subsequent year. The maximum grant amount is limited to $750,000.