(1) Upon receipt of the application for buffer strip reimbursement, the department shall review the application for compliance with the rules and regulations adopted and promulgated pursuant to section 2-5111.
(2) If the department determines that the application is not in compliance with the rules and regulations adopted and promulgated pursuant to section 2-5111, the department shall inform the district of the deficiencies. The district shall then inform the applicant of the deficiencies and allow the applicant to submit a new application.
(3) The department shall determine which applications are in compliance with the rules and regulations adopted and promulgated under section 2-5111 and shall compile a list of all such applications according to the factors set forth in the rules and regulations. From such prioritized list, and based upon the amount of funds available, the department shall notify the districts which applications are approved. Funds approved by the department for buffer strip reimbursement shall only be for buffer strips created after January 1, 1996. The total amount of funds available for all new and existing agreements shall not exceed the projected available cash balance of the Buffer Strip Incentive Fund for the entire term of the agreements.