Volume I; issue viiii | March 2020
Eastern Carolina Council of Governments (ECCOG) would love to share your news with the Region. Email your stories to eccadmin@eccog.org
ECC Hosted Events
March 11. Regional Manager's Meeting , Eastern Carolina Council –  This meeting will feature: Employment Law presentation on workplace investigations, personnel records; transforming the future of sustainable energy and agriculture, a ATLAS presentation and the value of being a NC League of Municipalities member.     To RSVP please click here

March 30. Legislative Luncheon The Flame, New Bern, NC –  This is an opportunity for you to interact in an informal and relaxed setting with county and municipal elected officials from Carteret, Craven, Duplin, Greene, Jones, Lenoir, Onslow, Pamlico and Wayen Counties, to discuss topics of mutual interest and concern    To RSVP please click here

Upcoming Training Opportunities
March 3. Distance Learning & Telemedicine Grant , Webinar – USDA to host webinar on March 3 to share key eligibility and program requirements for the Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant program.  The webinar will be held on March 3, 2020 at 10am ET.  To register, please go to: https://globalmeet.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1286194&tp_key=2867446e11.
March 5-6, April 2-3, May 7-8, June 4-5. Leading the Way to Board Excellence , Western Carolina University, Cullowhee –  The target audience is county, municipal and school board members. This 4-part leadership course incorporates personal leadership skill development with leadership in working across boundaries. It also includes a special segment on working with the media. The four day-and-a-half segments are designed to allow commuting (start late-end early) for those in the western region and only one night away for those who need lodging. Two personal leadership assessments are included, with post-event coaching also available. Applications are open until the end of December.    Click here for more information  

March 5. NADA & EDA, StatsAmerica Tools , Webinar – The Indiana Business Research Center, NADO, and EDA are hosting a webinar to walk through the array of free publicly-available tools available on StatsAmerica and to show how to access and how the data can be used for a wide array of purposes. The webinar will be held on March 5, 2020 from 2-3pm ET .  To register, please go to: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/4286524550818572556.
March 16. Regional Trail Planning Meeting , Eastern Carolina Council –  This workshop will describe the process for developing the regional trails plans and existing conditions in the region. Feedback will also be solicited on a variety of topics, such as: verifying existing and proposed trails, describing the COGs vision for trails in the region, and identifying desired locations for trails and potential opportunities and challenges for trail building.    To RSVP please click here
March 11, 20, June 10. Training on Water & Sewer Finances   SERCAP (Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project, Inc.) has announced The Basic Financial Workshops for the Small Rural Communities in North Carolina. This is a basic financial training class specifically geared toward the drinking water and wastewater programs in your community but will relate to any other enterprise fund you may have. 
SERCAP is nonprofit community technical assistance organization that helps rural communities primarily with infrastructure and community development needs. 
These one-day workshops are free and designed for elected officials, government managers (both town and county), financial managers/staff, public utility directors, and drinking water and wastewater managers and staff. 
March 11 | Danbury
May 20 | Pembroke
June 10 | Weldon
April 29. Financial Responsibilities of Local Elected Officials Webinar , Webinar –   Adoption of the county or municipal budget is one of the most important responsibilities of an elected board.  Understanding the local government budget development process can be challenging, especially for officials in their first terms of office.  
This webinar, led by faculty members Greg Allison and Bill Rivenbark, will help elected officials learn the “Top Ten” most important factors to know and understand as you enter the fiscal year budget development season, including understanding your roles and responsibilities related to the arena of local government finance. To register click here
NCDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Grant Initiative
The N.C. Department of Transportation is accepting applications from communities for the   2020 Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Grant Initiative . The program provides funding for municipalities across the state to develop comprehensive bicycle or pedestrian plans.
Watershed Restoration Grants
DWR is seeking proposals for award of federal fiscal year 2020 319(h) grant funds to implement watershed restoration plans that will help restore waters impaired by nonpoint sources of pollution. For FY 2020, NC expects to receive $1.3 Million from the USEPA for competitive funding of watershed restoration projects under Section 319(h) of the Clean Water Act. DWR will accept applications for FY2020 319 funding until May 4, 2020. 
NCDOT seeks public involvement
NCDOT wants to hear from community members about what projects they would like to see included in the next NCDOT 10-year transportation plan for 2023-2032. In the coming weeks, each of NCDOT’s 14 Divisions will submit their new project proposals, which will compete with other transportation improvements across the state for funding in the development of the 2023-2032 STIP.​
REMINDER: NC GREAT Grant Program open to support rural broadband projects
NC Department of Information Technology’s Broadband Infrastructure Office has announced the availability of funding to private providers of broadband services to facilitate the deployment of broadband service to unserved areas of the State. Applications must be submitted by March 16, 2020.  To learn more about this opportunity, please go to: https://www.ncbroadband.gov/greatgrant/.
USDA is seeking applications for technical assistance and training grants
The US Department of Agriculture has released notification that it is seeking applications from rural communities with limited resources and staff to access technical assistance and training to be able to access USDA funding for essential community facilities.  Applications must be received via Grants.gov by April 30, 2020. To learn more about this opportunity, please go to: https://www.rd.usda.gov/sites/default/files/USDA_SA_CF_TAT_NOSA02202020.pdf.
USDA is seeking applications for disaster impacted areas
The US Department of Agriculture has released notification that it is seeking applications from rural communities with populations of less than 20,000 and in an area that has received a Presidential Disaster Declaration for Hurricane Florence and Michael. Funding is available through the community facilities technical assistance and training grant program to help communities with a wide-range of activities that will facilitate disaster recovery. Applications must be submitted via Grants.gov by April 30, 2020. To learn more about this opportunity, please go to: https://www.rd.usda.gov/sites/default/files/USDA_SA_CF_TAT_Disaster_NOSA02202020.pdf.
USDA is seeking applications for distance learning and telemedicine grant/loan programs
The US Department of Agriculture has announced the opening of the application window for the new cycle of Distance Learning and Telemedicine grants and loans. Approximately $71.7 million is available for funding opportunities under this FOA. Of that total, $12 million may only be used for telemedicine and distance learning projects to help address the opioid epidemic in rural America. An additional $9.4 million is intended for telemedicine projects that provide substance use disorder treatment services in rural areas. The remaining $50.3 million is available for all eligible projects. Applications must be submitted via Grants.gov by April 10, 2020. To learn more about this opportunity, please go to: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=324339.
NC Trails announces Recreational Trails Program Grant
NC Trails Program provides resources to leverage local resources to augment construction of recreational trails. The application process is a two-step process with a pre-application due April 8, 2020 and a final application due September 11, 2020.  Pre-applications must be submitted by 11:59 pm ET on Wednesday, April 8 to be considered. To learn more about this opportunity, please go to: https://trails.nc.gov/trail-grants/apply-grant.
NC Department of Transportation announcing bicycle and pedestrian planning grant
NC Department of Transportation invites communities to apply for funding to develop comprehensive bicycle or pedestrian plans. A webinar will be held Tuesday, March 17 to highlight program requirements and respond to questions from applicants. Applications are due May 19, 2020. To learn more about this opportunity, please go to: https://connect.ncdot.gov/municipalities/PlanningGrants/Pages/Planning-Grant-Initiative.aspx.

Regional Happenings
ECC Hosted Digital Communications Workshop
In January, ECC hosted a digital communications records workshop. Whitney Ray and Emily Sweitzer from the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources presented on digital record retention and regulations of social media record keeping.
Kinston vying for HGTV show Hometown Takeover
The city of Kinston is hoping to get a shot to be spotlighted on the HGTV show Hometown Takeover.
The city, along with several groups, investors and local designer Brandon Potter, are working on a video to submit for the contest
State Seeks Florence Recovery Funds Input
The public can submit comments through 5 p.m. March 8 on how the state will use more than $500 million in federal funds to implement disaster recovery programs throughout areas impacted by the storm.
Governor's Task Force Encourages North Carolinians to Increase Preparedness Measures for COVID-19
You’ll find that release below along with some key takeaways and the latest summary on our efforts to-date.  
  • Currently there are no confirmed cases in North Carolina
  • Our department and NCDPS’ Emergency Management are working closely with the CDC, local health departments, and health care providers across the state to quickly identify and respond to any potential isolated cases that might occur in the state as well as prepare North Carolinians to be ready in the event of more widespread, national COVID-19 transmission
  • The release below has information you can share with specific constituent groups:
  • Individuals, Families, and Communities
  • Businesses and Employers
  • Healthcare Providers and Hospitals
  • Colleges, Universities, K-12 Schools and Child Care Facilities
  • For more information on COVID-19, please visit the CDC’s website at cdc.gov/coronavirus.
  • North Carolina resources can be found on the Division of Public Health website at ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus
  • Questions or concerns can also be directed to NC’s COVID-19 Helpline toll free at 1-866-462-3821. To submit questions online, individuals can go to www.ncpoisoncontrol.org and select “chat.”

Next Scheduled Meetings
Manager's Meeting - March 11, 2020
Executive Committee Meeting - March 12, 2020
Legislative Luncheon - March, 30, 2020