In order to encourage and assist the timely acquisition of land planned to be utilized in the future for public purposes, the Secretary is authorized to make grants to States and local public bodies and agencies to assist in financing the acquisition of a fee simple estate or other interest in such land.
The amount of any grant made under this section shall not exceed the aggregate amount of reasonable interest charges on the loans or other financial obligations incurred to finance the acquisition of such land for a period not in excess of the lesser of (1) five years from the date of acquisition of such land or (2) the period of time between the date on which the land was acquired and the date its use began for the purpose for which it was acquired: Provided, That where all or any portion of the cost of such land is not financed through borrowings, the amount of the grant shall be computed on the basis of the aggregate amount of reasonable interest charges that the Secretary determines would have been required.
No grant shall be made under this section unless the Secretary determines that the land will be utilized for a public purpose within a reasonable period of time and that such utilization will contribute to economy, efficiency, and the comprehensively planned development of the area. The Secretary shall in all cases require that land acquired with the assistance of a grant under this section be utilized for a public purpose within five years after the date on which a contract to make such grant is entered into, unless the Secretary determines that due to unusual circumstances a longer period of time is necessary and in the public interest.
No land acquired with assistance under this section shall, without approval of the Secretary, be diverted from the purpose originally approved. The Secretary shall approve no such diversion unless he finds that the diversion is in accord with the then applicable comprehensive plan for the area. In cases of a diversion of land to other than a public purpose, the Secretary may require repayment of the grant, or substitution of land of approximately equal fair market value, whichever he deems appropriate. An interim use of the land for a public or private purpose in accordance with standards prescribed by the Secretary, or approved by him, shall not constitute a diversion within the meaning of this subsection.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no project for which land is acquired with assistance under this section shall, solely as a result of such advance acquisition, be considered ineligible for the purpose of any other Federal loan or grant program, and the amount of the purchase price paid for the land by the recipient of a grant under this section may be considered an eligible cost for the purpose of such other Federal loan or grant program.