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."
Lumber River Council of Governments Receives a $64,000 Investment Award from EDA

This investment will support us with conducting a regional study to fill the critical need for broadband in Bladen, Hoke, Richmond, Robeson, and Scotland counties. The study will collect data, identify locations that lack access, provide documentation of the need for more broadband infrastructure development, and create a strategic plan for access. Once complete, the project will help mitigate the effects of future natural disasters such as the devastation from Hurricane Florence and Matthew, increase resiliency, and attract and retain employers throughout the region.

County Response Rates
As of June 3, 2020

National Self-Response- 60.6%
NC Self-Response- 56.9%
Bladen County- 42.3%
Hoke County- 52.5%
Richmond County- 47.9%
Robeson County- 44.2%
Scotland County- 51.8%
North Carolina
Safer At Home Phase 2:
Executive Order 142

Executive Order No. 142 puts in place a moratorium on evictions for residential and commercial tenants and provides relief for individuals who are unable to pay their utility bills during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Executive Order 143

Governor Roy Cooper signed Executive Order 143 to addresses the social, environmental, economic, and health disparities in communities of color that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Order directs state agencies and offices to provide targeted measures to help communities of color that have been affected by the pandemic.
COVID-19 North Carolina Dashboard

Knowing when to dial up or down measures that slow the spread of the virus depends on North Carolina’s testing, tracing and trends. The dashboard provides an overview on the metrics and capacities that the state is following.
Count on Me NC
Count on Me NC provides free online training to protect customers and employees in Phase 2 and beyond
New Testing Tools for Everyone to Use
COVID-19 Contact Tracing

One way to know you may have been exposed to another person who has COVID-19 is if you receive a call from a contact tracer. Contact tracers, including local health department staff, reach out to people who may have recently come into close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

It is important to answer the call when a contact tracer reaches out. He or she will connect you with the information and support you need to protect yourself and your loved ones. Here's what will happen if you are contacted:
  • You will get an initial text from the number 45394 or email from
  • Someone from your local health department or NC OUTREACH (844-628-7223) will follow up with phone calls.
  • You may be advised by your contact tracer to use the COVID-19 Community Team Outreach (CCTO) Tool, a password-protected online resource to track your symptoms.

Remember, a contact tracer will never ask for your Social Security Number, bank or credit card numbers, or any other financial information at any time.  Any information shared during your call with a contact tracer is a private health record and is strictly confidential.

Testing and tracing are core public health measures and key components of North Carolina’s strategy to responsibly ease restrictions, while continuing to slow the spread of the virus.
Holding Public Meetings in Accordance with Senate Bill 704
How to Apply
A Training for the CDBG-Infrastructure Program
June 22, 2020, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ( Via WebEx)
Topics include:
  • Determining low to moderate income percentage during COVID-19
  • Pointers on data and data sources needed to document need in the project area
  • Details needed in planning documents to receive points in the application.

To Sign Up: Contact Colleen Simmons at , and provide your name, email address and phone number. You will receive an emailed link to the meeting once you have registered.

Approximately $25.5 million is anticipated to be available for funding.
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Get the latest information on COVID-19 in North Carolina
North Carolina Launches a Statewide COVID-19 Website
The state has launched a new website to serve as a portal for all COVID-19 across state government.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
World Health Organization (WHO)
NC  2-1-1
Get up to date information on COVID-19

NC 2-1-1 is an information and referral service provided by United Way of North Carolina. Accessible via an easy-to-remember, three-digit number, families and individuals can call to obtain free and confidential information on health and human services and resources within their community.
Text COVIDNC to 898-211 for announcements and updates
Dial 2-1-1 or 888-892-1162 Available 24 hours a day 7 days a week
Mental Health Support

Call Hope 4 NC at 855-587-3463
Available 24 hours a day 7 days a week
COVID-19 Rumors and Misinformation

This website is a curated collection of tools and materials that can guide and provide examples on how to understand, track, address rumors and misinformation around COVID-19.
NC Pandemic Recovery Office (NCPRO)

The North Carolina Pandemic Recovery Office (NCPRO) will oversee and coordinate the state’s fiscal response to the COVID-19 pandemic as we recover stronger, more resolved, and more resilient.

Additional Resources:

Updated Coronavirus Relief Fund
Frequently Asked Questions
Funding Opportunities
US Economic Development Administration (EDA) CARES Act Recovery Assistance

EDA has released funding made available through the CARES ACT to facilitate economic recovery.
There is robust demand. Therefore, applicants are strongly encouraged to submit applications as soon as possible.
Requirements for Complete CARES Act Application
Emergency Supplemental Historic Preservation Fund (ESHPF) Disaster Assistance Grants for Historic Resources

Who May Apply For Grants
Local governmental units (including Councils of Government) and non-profit organizations can apply to use the Florence and Michael ESHPF Disaster Relief Grants. 
Your project must be located in one of the 61 eligible counties and involve properties listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
What is Grant Funding For 
  • Architectural and archaeological survey and inventory of historic resources to determine eligibility, degree of damage, and provide preparedness for future disasters.
  • Planning (known as pre-development) activities toward future stabilization and/or repair of damaged historic properties.
  • Brick and mortar work (known as development) to stabilize and/or repair damaged historic properties.
  • The execution of projects to mitigate the threat of damage to eligible historic properties from future natural disasters.

Request An Application Package 

Application packages can be requested by email at . The package consists of a guide to completing the application and the application form.

The application deadline is August 14, 2020 at 4 p.m.
Guide to Federal COVID-19 Funding for Local Governments
USDA Announces Cooperative Agreements for Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the availability of $900,000 for local governments to host a Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction (CCFWR) pilot project for fiscal year (FY) 2020. The cooperative agreements will support projects that develop and test strategies for planning and implementing municipal compost plans and food waste reduction plans. The agreements are offered through USDA’s Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production.
USDA Announces Grants for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the availability of $3 million for grants through its new Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production. The competitive grants will support the development of urban agriculture and innovative production projects through two categories, Planning Projects and Implementation Projects. USDA will accept applications on until midnight July 6, 2020.
SBA Disaster Assistance in Response to the Coronavirus

The SBA has approved the North Carolina Governor’s request for a disaster declaration, and you may begin the application process. Eligible applicants may now apply for economic injury disaster loans (EIDLs) as a result of the ongoing effects of COVID-19.
Paycheck Protection Program

The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating in the program.
Golden LEAF receives $125M in funding to support NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program
Funding will provide loans to help small businesses suffering economic losses related to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program was launched on March 24 with an initial allocation of $15 million provided by Golden LEAF. Applications were quickly submitted well in excess of the available funding. Golden LEAF worked with the Office of Governor Roy Cooper and leadership of the North Carolina General Assembly to appropriate the additional funds to support this program and address identified demand. With this additional funding in place, applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
FEMA Public Assistance Program

All North Carolina local governments and certain nonprofits are eligible to apply to the FEMA Public Assistance Program for FEMA reimbursement to assist with emergency expenses related to responding to COVID-19.  The NC Division of Emergency Management and the UNC School of Government have partnered to produce an on-demand applicant briefing webinar that gives instructions on how to register for FEMA reimbursement, information on general reimbursement eligibility of COVID-19 expenses, tips on documenting expenses, and COVID-19 federal procurement requirements.

A link to the free on-demand applicant briefing webinar, a pdf of the briefing presentation slides, and a summary of the FEMA Public Assistance program is available at both websites below:  

The first step toward applying for FEMA reimbursement of eligible COVID-19 expenses is to register your organization in the FEMA Grants Portal .  

All local governments and nonprofits (incorporated as a 501(c), (d), or (e) in the state are encouraged to register in the FEMA Grants Portal. Even if your organization is not certain whether you have COVID-19 expenses that are eligible for FEMA reimbursement, you are encouraged to register - you cannot apply for FEMA reimbursement without being registered in the Grants Portal and completing a few simple registration forms. This very simple registration process is explained in the on-demand briefing webinar. 

Easy instructions to get started are also available
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Announces $10 Million in FY20 Funding Availability for Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention Grant Programs
FY 2020 EDA Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Programs including CARES Act Funding
Suggested Reads
Old Housing, New Needs: Are U.S. Homes Ready for an Aging Population?

This report uses data from the American Housing Survey (AHS) to explore the prevalence of housing units with aging-accessible features.1 AHS is a panel survey of housing units conducted every 2 years with rotating topical modules. Unlike many surveys that sample people, AHS is specifically designed to measure housing and the stock, quality, and features of housing units. Data in this report come from a group of questions in the 2011 AHS Household Accessibility Module that asked respondents about specific features of their home, such as the presence of handrails and grab bars, and whether anyone in the household used them.
Online Plan Review and Permitting
A Primer for N.C. Planners, Engineers, and Inspectors
The State of NC's Communities During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Report on Outreach Meetings With Communities
Viewpoints on Resilient & Equitable Responses: Local Government Budgets
Coates' Canons: NC Local Government Law 's blog for articles on interesting topics such as:
Crisis as Opportunity: Fostering Inclusive Public Engagement in Local Government
Ashley Labosier

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