January 2021 Newsletter
January Highlights
Here is what you'll find in this month's newsletter:

  • Important Dates
  • Board Member Spotlight
  • Staff Spotlight
  • Caregiver's Cup
  • Housing & Home Improvement/COVID Support
  • KTAAA Care Packages
  • Family Caregiver Updates
  • Senior Centers
  • Ombudsman Update
  • New Staff Members
  • Bicycle Helmet Initiative
  • Waste Reduction & Recycling Grant
  • Count on Me NC
  • Community Economic Recovery & Resilience
  • Granville County's 275th Anniversary
  • Development Planning Near Passenger Rail Stations
  • Integrated Mobility Division Innovation & Technology Webinar
  • Aviation Art Contest
  • VW Settlement Rebate Program
  • Watch for Me NC
  • Workforce Development Success Story
  • VGCC Graduation
  • KTCOG Gives Back
  • Essentials of County Government
  • 106D Requirements
  • Open for Business Loan Program
Mark Your Calendar!
Next COG Board Meeting:
  • Thursday, January 28
  • 6:00 pm
  • Via Zoom
Board Member Spotlight: Leo Kelly, COG Board Chair
Commissioner Leo Kelly, Jr. a Henderson native, serves on the Vance County Board of Commissioners, representing District 5. Prior to entering public service, he served as Dean of Continuing Education at Vance-Granville Community College, retiring after more than 30 years. He has been married for over 50 years and has two adult sons, two daughters-in-law, and three grandchildren. He looks forward to serving as Chair of the Kerr-Tar Board supporting the efforts of the Council of Governments through promoting regionalism on such issues as broadband, workforce development, aging, and economic development.
Staff Spotlight: Donna Lee, Finance Manager
Donna Lee, Kerr-Tar Council of Governments Finance Manager has been with the COG since 1989. With 32 years of experience, Donna has been with the COG the longest of any of the staff. According to Donna, she loves that she has the opportunity to "work with some really wonderful people who are great at their jobs--smart, thoughtful, helpful, professional, conscientious people." One of her proudest achievements while working at the COG was when she trained the Aging Providers on how to use the software for the Aging Database to report their monthly records. Donna said it was rewarding to see when they completed everything on their own. When she's not working, Donna loves to write poetry and songs and aspires to write an autobiography.
Caregiver's Cup
The next Caregiver's Cup coffee club will be Friday, January 8 from 12:00-1:30 pm at Sadie's Coffee Corner in Henderson. If you provide care for an adult over age 60 and would like to join us for some non-structured social time and a good cup of coffee, join us! Call Austin with any questions at 252-436-2040, ext 6072. Newcomers welcome!
Housing & Home Improvement Projects/COVID Support
Our Housing & Home Improvement projects are providing ramps, accessibility features, and heating units for older adults. Our CARES services are also available to older adults with pandemic-related needs.

CARES services are being advertised via flyers, available through the senior centers and various community partners. Service referrals must come to us via referral agent, such as the senior center, a care manager, social worker, physicians' office, or similar party. Available services include:
  • Food
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Assistive items for the home
  • and more!
Call our CARES Specialist, Mary Lynn Baldwin, for more information at 252-436-2040 ext. 2036.
KTAAA Care Packages
KTAAA staff Austin Caton and Mary Lynn Baldwin attended an event called Health for the Holidays and handed out care packages. Those care packages included adult coloring books, PPE, and flyers advertising KTAAA programs. Other organizations present were Vance County SPCA, Food Lion, and the Health Department. This was also a COVID testing event, and those who were tested received food boxes and PPE packets delivered to their homes. Approximately 200 people were served throughout the county at this event. Austin also attended an event in partnership with Warren County Senior Center and distributed care packages there as well.
Caregiver Directed Vouchers
Are you a caregiver in need of a break or a little extra help? Respite care enables caregivers to be temporarily relieved from their caregiving responsibilities. Caregiver Respite Vouchers are available. To see if you quality, contact the KTAAA at 252-436-2040 or complete the ONLINE FORM to see if you qualify.
Have you noticed our billboards in the region? Our new round of billboards are up, featuring our Family Caregiver Support Services. During the holiday season, families often notice that their older relatives may be experiencing changes in their needs, and our programs are designed to assess and address exactly these situations. Give us a call at 252-436-2040 to see how we might assist.
Senior Centers
Many of our Senior Center providers held community holiday events featuring parades, music, and goodie bags. Ongoing programs, activities, and virtual events are available via our region's senior centers. Call your Senior Center for more details.

  • Franklin County Senior Center (Louisburg) 919-496-1131
  • Franklinton Senior Center 919-494-5611
  • Granville County Senior Services (Oxford) 919-693-1930
  • South Granville Senior Center (Creedmoor) 919-528-0848
  • North Granville Senior Center (Stovall) 919-693-3383
  • Person County Senior Center 336-599-7484
  • Vance County Senior Center 252-430-0257
  • Warren County Senior Center 252-257-3111
Long Term Care Ombudsman
Kim Hawkins, Regional Ombudsman, is here to serve the needs and interests of long-term care residents and their families. She delivered holiday care packages to all 9 family care homes in Franklin County, for a total of 46 residents and 31 staff members. Kim is also setting up virtual visits with the homes in the region and virtual trainings with CAC volunteers starting this month. Despite the restrictions everyone has faced these last few months, Kim has continued to field calls and provide information to concerned residents and family members. If you have concerns regarding long term care, please contact Kim at khawkins@kerrtarcog.org or 252-436-2040 ext. 2050.
New Staff Member: Kian Furnace
The KTCOG and KTRPO are pleased to announce Mr. Kian Furnace will be serving as the Safe Routes to Schools Program Coordinator. Kian has some familiarity with our region's schools having served most recently as the Family and Community Engagement Coordinator with Granville County Public Schools. His duties included parent and family engagement and the coordination of the Parent University. Kian looks forward to working with our region's school systems in advancing the goals of the SRTS program through various online activities because of schools operating under modified conditions due to COVID-19. The SRTS initiative seeks to highlight the many health benefits associated with physical activity. Welcome to the COG, Kian!
Kerr-Tar Rural Planning Organization
The KTRPO joint TAC/TCC will not meet during the month of January. The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, February 25, 2021 from 3:00-5:00 pm via Zoom. Further details will be provided to members as the meeting date approaches.
Elected officials serving as members of the KTRPO TAC are required to submit Statements of Economic Interest (SEI) and Real-Estate Disclosure (RED) forms annually to the North Carolina State Ethics Commission. The annual due date for the Commission to receive these documents is April 15. The Ethics Commission is strongly encouraging all TAC and TAC Alternates to submit these forms electronically via the following LINK, as Commission staff will not be in the office to accept paper forms.
NCDOT Bicycle Helmet Initiative
Since 2007, the NCDOT's Bicycle Helmet Initiative has equipped thousands of children with helmets--a simple and essential means of reducing bicyclist injuries and fatalities. Sadly, children are among the key demographic involved in bicycle-related incidends. To promote helmet usage and support local bicycle activities, the Division of Bicycle & Pedestrain Transportation is accepting applications from organizations willing to distribute helmets to children. The selection process encourages applicants to collaborate with community groups to extend bicycle safety awareness outreach. Examples of partners include police and fire departments, parks and recreation departments, health departments, community centers, churches, and non-governmental organizations.
Applications must be submitted by 5:00 pm on Friday, January 15. Applicants have the option of requesting 25, 50, 75 or 100 helmets, and awardees will receive them by April 30, 2021. Interested applicants or organizations are encouraged to apply, with KTRPO gladly providing assistance as a regional partner. For more information or to apply, visit the NCDOT Bicycle Helmet Initiative web page.
Community Waste Reduction & Recycling Grant
N.C. Division of Environmental Assistance and Customer Service (DEACS) has announced the opening of the 2021 Community Waste Reduction and Recycling (CWRAR) Grant Round. Counties, municipalities, councils of governments, and solid waste authorities are eligible to apply for funding through this grant program.
2021 Priority Projects include:
  • Outreach enforcement projects (e.g., cart tagging) to reduce contamination
  • Projects that divert food waste from landfill disposal (backyard composting, implementing, or expanding collection, management, or recycling of food waste)
  • Construction and Demolition (C&D) debris recycling
  • Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) program implementation or expansion

Grant Proposals are due by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 18, 2021.
Count On Me NC
Count On Me NC is a program encouraging businesses to take the necessary steps to keep their customers safe. A partnership between the NC Department of Health & Human Services, the Restaurant and Lodging Association, Visit NC, and the NC State Extension Service, this series offers safety trainings for restaurant owners and employees, If a business completes the series of trainings, they will receive a Certificate of Completion and will be listed among participating businesses on the Count on Me NC website: http://countonmenc.org/participating-businesses/.
Community Economic Recovery & Resiliency Initiative
The Council of Governments is collaborating with the NC Department of Commerce-Main Street and Rural Planning Center's newest initiative, Community Economic Recover and Resiliency Initiative (CERRI). This initiative is designed to assist small towns and rural communities recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19 and build resilient local economies. The Department will work on creating individualized Community Economic Resiliency and Small Business Support Plans. Presently, the Council of Governments is gathering interest among county and municipal partners regarding this initiative. This process will begin in January and involved site visits to respective communities along with identifying individuals to serve on steering committees. If your community is interested in taking part in the CERRI program, please contact James Cunningham at 252-436-2040 or jcunningham@kerrtarcog.org.
Happy 275th Anniversary Granville County!
Granville County will soon be marking a milestone as the 275th anniversary will be observed in 2021. Formed in 1746, Granville County was established thirty years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence and was named in honor of the second Earl of Granville, Lord John Carteret. King George II had given most of the land that is present-day Granville County to Carteret as part of the Granville Grant in the 1660s.

A planning committee has been established by the Granville County Board of Commissioners to schedule activities, events and keepsakes to help celebrate this special occasion.  Representatives of all five municipalities along with county officials, staff members, and volunteers comprise the Committee. A commemorative coffee-table style book and collector coin will be available for purchase. To read more about this special anniversary, CLICK HERE.
Development Planning Near Passenger Rail Stations
The Federal Transit Authority has awarded the NC Department of Transportation's Integrated Mobility Division a $900,000 grant to help Triangle area communities create plans for development along the S-Line rail corridor. The S-Line corridor is a passenger rail line that starts at the Virginia border, runs through Raleigh and ends at the South Carolina state line.

"We're grateful to be working with cities and towns that understand how passenger rail service can spur economic development," said Julie White, NCDOT's Deputy Secretary for Mutimodal Transportation. "This is a great opportunity to use passenger rail to better connect rural and urban communities. It should serve as a model for future projects."

The following towns contributed matching funds for the grant: Apex, Franklinton, Henderson, Raleigh, Sanford, and Wake Forest. The towns will use the grant money to develop plans for the areas around the rail stations. The plans will explore how the rail stations will bolster economic development in their town centers and enable these communities to plan for connections to bus service, micro transit, bicycle paths and greenways.

Mayors of the towns that contributed matching funds to the grant located in the Kerr-Tar region provided the following comments:

"The Town of Franklinton is looking forward to working with our neighbors along the S-Line to develop a community that will support passenger rail. This funding will promote Franklinton's rich rail history and expand downtown."
-Franklinton Mayor Art Wright

"Our community was founded on rail traffic in 1841. It is only natural that our resurgaence is based on this same driving force for ecnomoic development, connecting us to greater opportunities. The regional cooperation and resulting benefit this project represents is government at its best."
-Henderson Mayor Eddie Ellington
Integrated Mobility Division Innovation & Technology Webinar
The Department of Transportation is pleased to offer a free webinar on the topic of leveraging new rail access and transit-oriented development to spur economic growth. The webinar will begin at 10:00 am on Tuesday, January 26. Interested parties may register by clicking HERE.
Aviation Art Contest
The NC Department of Transportation is again bringing together art and aviation, as the agency hosts the 2021 North Carolina Aviation Art Contest. This year's theme is "A Friendlier World with Air Sports." Students are invited to grab their art supplies and create artwork that captures the friendlier world that comes from people meeting and sharing their love of sport aviation.

All students who live in or attend school in North Carolina and were born between January 1, 2003 and December 31, 2014 are encouraged to participate by submitting their own artwork. Prizes for the top three works will be awarded to the artist and the artist's school in three age groups: Junior (ages 6-9), Intermediate (ages 10-13), and Senior (ages 14-17). Judges will determine winners in each category based on creativity, artistic skill, and adherence to the theme.

The top three entries in each group will be forwarded to Washington, DC to be judged in the National Aviation Art Contest. The national winners' artwork will go on to the Federation Aeronautique Internationale's headquarters in Switzerland for international judging. As an added incentive, the North Carolina Museum of Art will be exhibiting works from the winning students.

Submissions must be postmarked no later than January 19, 2021. Artwork and a Certificate of Authenticity should be mailed to:

NCDOT Aviation Art Contest
NC Division of Aviation
1560 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1560

More information about the 2021 North Carolina Aviation Art Contest can be found on the Division of Aviation's website.

*Michelle Selin Park of Berean Baptist Academy in Fayetteville took second place in the Senior Division in 2020.
VW Settlement Level 2 Charge Rebate Program
The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality's (DEQ) Division of Air Quality (DAQ) will begin accepting applications beginning January 25, 2021 for Level 2 charging projects to be funded by Phase 1 of the NC Volkswagen Mitigation Settlement Program. The agency has allocated 25% of the Phase 1 Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) infrastructure allocation, or approximately $1.1 million, to Level 2 charging infrastructure projects.

NCDEQ anticipates awarding a total of approximately $1.1 million towards Level 2 charging infrastructure projects in Phase 1. Rebate applications will be prioritized by the urban-suburban/rural split described in the NC VW Mitigation Plan, with about 68% of the funds allocated for urban and suburban counties, and a minimum of 32% allocated for rural counties. The primary goal is to increase use of ZEVs in place of gas-powered vehicles to mitigate nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and greenhouse gas emissions in North Carolina.

Eligible entities are required to submit Rebate Applications through the DAQ Grants Management System. The program's Charging Infrastructure Guidelines are available HERE. If your community is interested in participating in this rebate program, please contact the Council of Governments.
Watch for Me NC
North Carolina communities interested in participating in the 2021 Watch for Me NC safety program may now submit applications to the Governor’s Highway Safety Program. The nationally recognized program focuses on reducing bicycle and pedestrian injuries and fatalities through public education, community engagement partnerships with local law enforcement. The 2021 campaign is supported by the Governor’s Highway Safety Program and the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Integrated Mobility Division.

"Keeping our state’s bicyclists and pedestrians safe is a community effort,” said Mark Ezzell, director of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program. “Watch for Me NC is an invaluable tool ​for engaging communities across North Carolina by educating the public, providing hands-on training to law enforcement and creating valuable partnerships in our chosen counties and towns."

Communities selected to participate will receive free law enforcement training, technical assistance and safety tools provided by NCDOT and the UNC Highway Safety Research Center. In 2021, all community partners will be eligible to attend virtual training sessions. In addition, communities will receive support that is individually customized, helping them plan outreach, share opportunities and troubleshoot challenges.

Watch for Me NC partners will also receive materials with pedestrian and bicycle safety messages to aid in engagement at public events. Communities may also be eligible to receive advertising such as radio PSAs and vehicle wrapper ads. Applicants should be able to demonstrate support from local law enforcement agencies and, if applicable, campus police, plus the capacity to participate fully in the program.

Interested communities are encouraged to register for a webinar at 11 a.m. on Jan. 8, 2021 when more information about the program requirements and application process will be provided. Applications are due February 1, 2021, and can be submitted online via the Watch for Me NC website.
New Staff Member: Desiree Brooks
The Workforce Department is pleased to announce the addition of Desiree Brooks. Desiree is the new Business Services Manager for the Kerr-Tar region. Her position will support the businesses in our region by providing information about our various workforce programs and connecting businesses to the workforce related resources available throughout the region. Desiree comes to us most notably from the Henderson Dispatch where she built a reputation of providing exemplary service to her customers. Please welcome Desiree to the KTCOG family!
Success Story
Christopher Hunt was laid off from his long-term position with ALTEC due to COVID-19 related closures. After applying for Unemployment Insurance, Mr. Hunt inquired about employment opportunities through NCWorks and was referred to WIOA for a Work Based Learning opportunity with AMCOR as a Process Technician. After enrolling in WIOA, Mr. Hunt was eligible for the National Dislocated Worker Grant, COVID-19. He began his on-the-job training at the end of October and is enjoying his new position with AMCOR. Mr. Hunt will continue into full-time employment with AMCOR once his on-the-job training end in early January. Way to go Christopher!
VGCC Graduation 2020
Vance-Granville Community College will be honoring their graduates from the 2019-2020 academic year in a virtual graduation ceremony on Thursday, January 7 at 4:00 pm. This includes graduates from December 2019, May 2020, and July 2020. The ceremony will stream from the VGCC website. Simply visit their homepage www.vgcc.edu and click on the graduation link. The virtual graduation ceremony will include graduates from both College & Career Readiness and Curriculum programs. The ceremony will feature the dynamic keynote speaker, Thom Ruhe, CEO of NC IDEA. Everyone is excited to celebrate all of the graduates' accomplishments together in one ceremony and hope you can join in on the celebration.
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In Other News...
Like us on Facebook!
Beth Davis, our Regional Engagement Specialist, has created a KTCOG Facebook Page. We invite you all to like this page and share any posts that you think might benefit your network. The best kind of advertising is word of mouth, and Facebook is kind of like the digital version. We welcome any and all feedback regarding the content of this page because we want it to be relevant information. Check it out HERE.

You can also find Kerr-Tar Area Agency on Aging on Facebook as well. Check them out HERE.
Kerr-Tar COG Gives Back
The Kerr-Tar COG was able to assist a family of 4 children and one mom with generous donations. We were able to fulfill each of the children's wish lists and were even able to get Mom a few things for herself. The family will also receive nonperishable food items to assist with their needs through the holiday season. Thank you to the COG staff for making this family's Christmas special!

A special thanks goes out to the COG elves who shopped for and wrapped all the presents!
The Essentials of County Government
The UNC-Chapel Hill School of Government and the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners have partnered to offer newly-elected county commissioners a crash course on the essentials of county government. In this course, we will introduce newly-elected commissioners to the basic functions of county government and the role of the governing board. In short, we are here to help you successfully transition from campaigning to governing. 
What to Expect:
This year we will be conducting the course virtually and will be exploring three themes, one per month. For each theme, participants will be expected to complete 30-60 minutes of pre-work, followed by a 3-4 hour live, interactive session on Zoom. At the conclusion of each session, commissioners will have the opportunity to “ask the expert” to learn more about specific topics of interest. Take a look at the agenda for the live Zoom sessions HERE.

When Can You Take The Class? 
Track 2 Live Session Dates/Times:
  • January 22, 2021, 9:00 am-1:00 pm - County Government: Roles and Responsibilities
  • February 25, 2021, 9:00 am-12:30 pm - Budgets, Fiduciary Duty, & Financial Condition
  • March 23, 2021, 9:00 am-1:00 pm - Ethics, Conflicts of Interest, and Open Government

For more information about the program, click HERE.  
Planning Regulation: 160D Requirements
Chapter 160D of the North Carolina General Statutes consolidates current enabling legislation for planning regulation and represents the first major recodification and modernization of the city and county development regulations since 1905. Every jurisdiction in North Carolina will need to update their unified development ordinances, including zoning, subdivision and other development regulation ordinances, by July 1, 2021. Communities that want to regulate development through zoning must adopt and reasonably maintain a comprehensive or land use plan that sets forth goals, policies, and programs intended to guide the present and future physical, social and economic development of the jurisdiction. Comprehensive or land use plans must be in place by July 1, 2022.
Open for Business Loan Program
Many small and local businesses in the Kerr-Tar Region have been negatively affected by COVID-19. In an effort to provide support to those businesses, the Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments is rolling out the Open for Business Loan Program. This loan program is designed to help small to medium size businesses recover from the economic effects of this pandemic.

The Open for Business Loan is a non-forgivable interest free loan, ranging from $10,000-$100,000. Eligible borrowers are small to medium size (1-99 employees) businesses who have been in business for at least 12 months and must be located in Franklin, Granville, Person, Vance, or Warren counties. Documentation providing evidence of a loss of revenue since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic is required. All loans will require a personal guarantee and additional collateral. Funds can only be used for working capital and/or equipment and require an application fee of $200. Standard loan terms of 5 to 10 years. To apply, CLICK HERE.

The Open for Business Loan Program is locally administered, funded by the US Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration with funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Applications are available on the Kerr-Tar COG website, or by calling Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments at 252-436-2040. Applications should be completed as soon as possible as funding is limited.
Executive Director
Diane Cox

Area Agency on Aging
Nancy Francis

Planning & Development
Michael Kelly

Workforce Development
Lou Grillo

Mission Statement
Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments aims to
promote regionalism that provides opportunities for
local governments to enhance and improve the quality
of life for our citizens through effective delivery of
services and programs.
Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments
Contact Info:
252-436-2055 fax

Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 709
Henderson, NC 27536