The Rural Economic Action Plan (REAP) Grant was created through legislation in 1996 to improve life in rural Oklahoma. It’s purpose is to assist small communities, towns, counties and unincorporated with populations under 7,000, and which have little or no funding capabilities. REAP grants fund a variety of projects that enhance economic development, promote intergovernmental cooperation, promote and enhance public health and safety, and/or implement regional or local plans.
The REAP Statute
The Legislature find that general economic conditions in rural areas of the State of Oklahoma reflect reduced individual earning power, relatively lower returns on business investment and the corresponding effects upon the fiscal capacity of political subdivisions the geographical area of which consists primarily of unincorporated areas or relatively small municipalities. In order to remove impediments to economic development in rural areas, in order to alleviate the sometimes negative effects of lower population density, population decreases, and increased demand for governmental services and in order to maintain a desirable quality of life for residents and other legal entities i rural areas, the Legislature hereby establishes a procedure pursuant to which public funds may be used in a flexible manner for the general improvement of living nad working conditions in predominantly rural areas of the State of Oklahoma for which an identifiable needs has been determined.
New REAP Legislation
According to the newly enacted REAP legislation of House Bill 3291 passed in 2010, 80 percent of REAP funds must be spent for projects appearing in the first six categories listed below.
- Rural water quality projects, including acquisition, treatment, distribution and recovery of water for consumption by humans or animals or both
- Rural solid waste disposal, treatment or similar projects
- Rural sanitary sewer construction or improvement projects
- Rural road or street construction or improvement projects
- Provision of rural fire protection services and public safety services
- Expenditures designed to increase the employment level within the jurisdiction of the entity
- Provision of health care services, including emergency medical care, in rural areas
- Construction or improvement of telecommunication facilities or systems
- Improvement of municipal energy distribution systems
- Community buildings, courthouses, town halls, senior nutrition centers, meeting rooms or similar public facilities