CPRC News & Updates

November 7, 2023

Welcome to the NEW Central Pines Regional Council newsletter! We hope you like this new layout! The Pine Needler will be sent out twice a month and will be full of upcoming events and regional news, all for your information.

RDU's Primary Runway 5L-23R Moves Ahead

Over the past few years, Central Pines Regional Council, the Research Triangle Foundation, the Regional Transportation Alliance, and many local governments have advocated for federal approval and investment in RDU's Primary Runway, 5L-23R. Recently, RDU announced that the federal government approved a 10,639-foot replacement that will allow the airport to continue expanding service. That runway broke ground this month! 

Watch the Video!

Johnston County Smithfield to Benson East Coast Greenway Feasibility Study

The proposed Smithfield to Benson East Coast Greenway is a 15–17-mile corridor in Johnston County connecting the existing greenway in Smithfield to Benson. The corridor primarily follows US-301 beginning along the Neuse River in Downtown Smithfield at the terminus of the Buffalo Creek Greenway to the Johnston County line, outside of Benson town limits. The Smithfield to Benson East Coast Greenway is a critical missing link in the County’s greenway network and is the proposed corridor for gap segments of the East Coast Greenway and Mountains to Sea Trail. 

Learn More About the Study

Connected Autonomous Shuttle Supporting Innovation (CASSI) Program Report

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) partnered with Cary, NC (Cary) and Beep, Inc. (Beep) to bring a novel-design, all-electric, low-speed automated shuttle to Fred G. Bond Metro Park (Bond Park) in Cary for a 13-week pilot through the Connected Autonomous Shuttle Supporting Innovation (CASSI) program. NCDOT and Cary learned that the capabilities and limitations of the shuttle’s technology constrain its route design, service design, and operating conditions, and learned that a service interruption plan and protocols should be developed proactively prior to launch.

Learn More About CASSI

This Edition:

  • RDU's Primary Runway Moves Ahead
  • Smithfield to Benson East Coast Greenway
  • Connected Autonomous Shuttle Report
  • Work Local
  • Upcoming Events

Popular Links & Resources

Diwali: Festival of Lights

Diwali, otherwise known as the Festival of Lights, is one of India's most important holidays. Families who celebrate Diwali fill their homes with lights, symbolizing light overcoming darkness and good overcoming evil. Diwali is celebrated over a period of 5 days, with the main day of the festival being held on the darkest night of the year. This year, Diwali will be November 12.

Learn more about Diwali here!

Funding Opportunities & News

EV Charger Reliability & Accessibility Accelerator

The following is a grant opportunity open only to local and state governments to repair malfunctioning or downed EV Chargers. Applications are due November 13. The funding opportunity provides a final list of eligible chargers in the supplemental information, which can be sorted to show only the exact stations eligible for repair in NC. The funding opportunity also provides an estimate of repair costs.

EV chargers are frequently down for some reason or another. These are funds they can access to repair them. According to the FOA, there are enough funds available to repair all the chargers in the US that they've labeled as eligible, following their proposed costs. Which means that applications that stick to their guidelines have a very high chance of being accepted. Local stakeholders should get together to prepare a plan to repair the chargers that this FOA has already identified that need repairing in NC.

View Grant Opportunity

Funding Opportunities in the NC 2023-2025 Budget

After months of negotiations within the General Assembly, North Carolina has a budget for the 2023-2025 biennium. The budget includes new funding opportunities for local governments and reauthorizes highly popular new programs from the previous budget. 

Great Trails State Program (NEW) – This program allocates $25 million in non-recurring funding for new trail and existing trail extension projects.

Complete the Trails Fund – An additional $5 million has been added to this fund to support the development of trails that will connect communities to state trails.

Regional Economic Development Reserve (NEW) – This fund received an allocation of $1.25 billion in nonrecurring funds for economic development projects.

Golden LEAF – The budget increases the state’s annual allocation to this economic development funder from $17 million to $25 million.

NCGA 2023 Budget

Local Emergency Shelter Capacity Program (NEW) - This program will support upgrading emergency shelter locations and electrical systems to install emergency generators or provide for quick hookup locations.

Small Project Mitigation and Recovery Program (administered by Golden Leaf) - This program disburses grants up to $250,000 for flood mitigation and recovery projects, and for planning or as matching funds when applicable. 

Accessibility for Parks - This program reauthorizes $12,500,000 within the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund to provide matching grants to local parks facilities for construction of special facilities or adaptation of existing facilities that meet the unique needs of persons with disabilities.

Work Local

CPRC Openings

Career Opportunities in the Region

There are so many amazing career opportunities to serve your community and work for local government in the Central Pines Region. Check out the most recent job postings here!

More Job & Career Opportunities
Post an Opening on Regional Job Board

Learning Opportunities & Events




Designated Employer Representative Training

Thursday, November 9

8:30 am - 5:00 pm

CPRC Office

For more information and to register, click HERE

Veteran's Day Holiday

Friday, November 10

CPRC Office will be closed

Financial Wellness 101:

Holiday Spending

Friday, November 17

12:00 - 1:00 pm


For more information and to register, click HERE

Decoding Brownfields -FREE WORKSHOP

Thursday, November 30

9:00 am - 3:00 pm

Piedmont Triad Regional Council, Kernersville

For more information and to register, click HERE

Be sure to follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @centralpinesnc!

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