LRCOG News & Updates
Our Mission
"In its dedication to regional excellence, the Lumber River Council of Governments is
proactive in identifying local and regional needs and the resources to address
those needs in an effective and fair manner."
Area Agency on Aging

Nutrition Program

Region N Nutrition Providers continue to serve the older adults in our region during this unprecedented time.
Bladen Division on Aging
LRCOG Area Agency on Aging
(Serving Robeson & Scotland Counties)
Richmond County Aging Services
Senior Services of Hoke County

Registration Now Open
28th Annual Lumber River Regional

HYBRID Senior Games
Lumber River Workforce Development Board
Program Highlights
The Lumber River Council of Governments Workforce Development Division provides services through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) program to Adult, Dislocated Worker and Youth customers throughout Bladen, Hoke, Richmond, Robeson, and Scotland counties. The services provided through the (WIOA) program focus on training, career exploration, and employment assistance. Additionally, the Lumber River Workforce Development Board (LRWDB) in partnership with Bladen, Richmond, Robeson, and Sandhills Community College assists with the Finish Line Grant (FLG) Program. This program assists community college students that are approaching program completion and facing financial hardship. The customer impact stories presented highlight services provided through the Lumber River Workforce Development Board Adult, Dislocated Worker, Youth, and FLG programs.

For a complete listing of services and contact information please click links below.
Heather Nicholson is a customer served through the WIOA Adult program at the NCWorks Career Center – Richmond County and the Finish Line Grant (FLG) Program serviced by the Lumber River Workforce Development Board. With the assistance of WIOA, Heather is in her final semester and will be obtaining an Associate Degree in Nursing from Richmond Community College. The WIOA Adult program along with assistance from the Finish Line Grant program assisted Heather with overcoming financial barriers so that she could focus on reaching her goals. Utilizing these program opportunities provided Heather the ongoing support to ensure she had the tools necessary to be successful.
Kerra Jenkins is a WIOA Youth program customer served by Partners in Ministry in Richmond County. Through the WIOA program, Kierra participated in career exploration and leadership development workshops. With the assistance of the WIOA Youth Program Kierra was able to secure employment at Richmond County Department of Social Services as an Income Maintenance Caseworker.
Governor Cooper Announces Easing of COVID-19 Restrictions as North Carolina
Trends Stabilize
Key indicators used to guide decisions throughout pandemic show state’s trends are moving in the right direction
Gov. Cooper Announces Frontline Essential Workers Eligible for Vaccination Beginning March 3
Group 4 vaccinations to begin March 24 for people who have a
medical condition that puts them at higher risk or who
live in certain congregate settings
NC COVID-19 County Alert System

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services updated the COVID-19 County Alert System, which shows six red counties — a decrease from 27 red counties on the previous Feb. 22 County Alert System and the fewest red counties in the state since the start of the County Alert System.
Guidance from the NC Department of Health & Human Services on capacity for Special Events & Summer Concerts
House Bill 119
Property Tax Relief for COVID Affected Businesses

House Bill 119 Property Tax Relief for COVID Affected Businesses was filed late last week and would affect property tax revenue of municipalities, creating tremendous budget uncertainty. This bill aims to provide relief to businesses impacted by COVID-19 through property tax deferments and changes in property tax assessment. Specifically, the bill mandates a qualifying owner of property be granted a deferment on enforced collections from property tax liability for the time period running from March-December 2020, allows qualifying property owners to enter into a payment plan for the property taxes owed on the affected property, and directs the assessor of property to recognize the effect of COVID-19 relief efforts for purposes of determining the value of property. The legislation not only causes revenue uncertainty for local governments, but it creates an inefficient approach to help struggling businesses, as the processes that it would require will take months.
Senate Bill 31
Political Subdivisions/Local Bidders Notice

Requires counties to, in addition to newspaper advertisement, notify interested people or businesses by regular or electronic mail or by posting to a website or service that generates notice. This applies to construction or repair work, or purchase of supplies or equipment, over $50,000 being let to bid.
2020 Census Apportionment

The 2020 Census Apportionment data (ie total state populations) are scheduled to be released by April 30, 2021; and the 2020 Census Redistricting data including county and municipal data are scheduled to be released by September 30, 2021.

While we're waiting for that data, the following Census-related Federal Register Notices have been published recently:

Key item - minimum urban area population criteria to be changed from 50,000 to 100,000 
Comment Period ends March 19, 2021

Key Items -
  • Shift from population density to housing unit density (385 Housing units per sq. mile) as primary criteria for including blocks to define urban areas
  • Urban definition change from areas of 2,500 people to a threshold of 4,000 housing units OR 10,000 people
Comment Period ends May 20,2021
Boundary Annexation Survey (BAS)

The U.S. Census Bureau conducts the Boundary and Annexation Survey (BAS) annually to collect information about selected legally defined geographic areas. BAS is used to update information about the legal boundaries and names of all governments.

Even if you have not had a recent boundary change, it's encouraged that you verify the US Census Bureau's version of your boundaries through TIGERweb.
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​North Carolina Litter Sweep: April 10-24

Traditionally scheduled for the last two weeks of April and September, Litter Sweep is the N.C. Department of Transportation’s biannual statewide roadside litter removal initiative. Residents throughout the state participate in local efforts to help clean up North Carolina's roadways.

In addition to volunteers, NCDOT maintenance crews devote one week of their time to pick up litter and collect orange bags placed on the roadsides by volunteer pickups.

Volunteers are provided cleanup supplies, such as reversible orange/blue trash bags, gloves and orange safety vests,​ from their local NCDOT County Maintenance Yard office.

To participate in Litter Sweep, contact a NCDOT litter program coordinator in your county who will get your team set up with supplies.​
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Vaccination Dashboard
North Carolina COVID-19 Information Hub
North Carolina’s First Cybercrime Hotline

United Way of North Carolina and the Cybercrime Support Network (CSN) announce the launch of North Carolina’s first cybercrime support and recovery hotline. The new system allows North Carolina residents to dial 2-1-1 to report and find resources to recover from identity theft, financial fraud, cyberstalking, cyberbullying and other cybercrimes. This initiative was made possible through a Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Victim Assistance Grant that was awarded by The North Carolina Governor’s Crime Commission. Additional support for the project has been provided by the N.C. Department of Information Technology (NCDIT).
Virtual Basic Financial Workshop for NC Rural Communities for 2021
Free Training from SERCAP | April 6

SERCAP is hosting a basic financial workshop for those that are primarily associated with drinking water and wastewater utilities of N.C., including elected officials, financial managers, town and/or county managers, drinking water and wastewater directors, workers and other staff.

You will be provided with up to date information on the financial working and the requirements from NC LGC, USDA, DWI, and the RCAP Network. You should attend if you need answers to financial questions and/or just need a refresher.

All are invited, and there is no fee charged for this training.
Funding Opportunities
Drinking Water State Revolving Fund

  • The Drinking Water State Revolving Fund was created with the 1996 amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act.
  • Because the DWSRF is federally-seeded, the loans are subject to additional federal regulations regarding environmental review, outreach for disadvantaged business enterprises, payroll (Davis Bacon and related Acts), etc.
  • Congress provides funds for states to establish revolving loan programs for funding of drinking water projects.
  • States provide 20% matching funds.
Golden LEAF Local Government Training Initiative

The Golden LEAF Foundation and the Center for Public Leadership and Governance at the UNC School of Government are partnering to launch the Golden LEAF Local Government Training Initiative for mid- and entry-level public leaders from economically distressed North Carolina communities.
The initiative is made possible through $493,546 in funding awarded by the Golden LEAF Board of Directors.

The initiative is open to municipal and county governments located in Tier 1 counties across the state as specified by the North Carolina Department of Commerce 2020, 2021 and 2022 County Distress Rankings. With an emphasis on nurturing future leaders, support will target public professionals working at the department director level and below, and local elected leaders from small municipalities with mayor-council forms of government.

Qualifying local governments can participate via three distinct programs:
  1. training for employees in public management and supervision;
  2. individual scholarships for School of Government programs; and
  3. organizational scholarships for customized advising and training.

For more information on how an employee or local government organization can participate in the Golden LEAF Local Government Training Initiative, please visit their webpage, sign up for the mailing list or contact Jenny Neville at
Suggested Read
F.C.C. Approves a $50 Monthly High-Speed Internet Subsidy
By Cecilia Kang

The money, aimed at low-income households, is part of an effort to bridge the access gap to broadband connectivity amid the pandemic.
Coates' Cannon
Time for Cities, Counties, and School Boards to Redistrict, But No Numbers!
By Robert Joyce

Some North Carolina cities have a problem, and there may be little they can do about it except wait and see if the General Assembly gives them some direction.

They all have city elections coming up in 2021, and they all elect city council members from true electoral districts—meaning that only the voters of that district vote for that council seat.
Water Online
Help For Small Water Systems Might Be Closer Than You Thought
By Pete Antoniewicz

Due to limits in personnel or resources, small community water systems often have a tough time funding and implementing needed upgrades. A recent webinar on Leveraging Regional Development Organizations to Support Small Water Systems, hosted by the Environmental Finance Center Network (EFCN), shows how collaboration can make a difference by integrating water-system concerns into a broader approach to overall community concerns.

Lumber River Council of Governments | Phone: 910-618-5533 | Fax: 910-521-7556