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."
Census Bureau Plans to Send Additional 2020 Census Reminder Before Census Takers Visit

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that it will send an additional reminder postcard to households that have not yet responded to the 2020 Census. The postcard is scheduled to arrive between July 22 and July 28, a few weeks before census takers are set to begin visiting most households that haven’t responded.

The COVID-19 pandemic delayed the start of census taker visits from mid-May to mid-August, giving the Census Bureau the opportunity to send one more reminder to households encouraging them to respond online, by phone or by mail. Responding now minimizes the need for census takers to visit homes to collect responses in person.
County Response Rates
As of June 24, 2020

National Self-Response- 61.7%
NC Self-Response- 58.0%
Bladen County - 44.2%
Bladenboro - 45.5%
Clarkton - 40.7%
Dublin - 30.9%
East Arcadia - 45.5%
Elizabethtown - 49.3%
Tar Heel - 37.1%
White Lake - 15.8%

Hoke County - 53.1%
Raeford - 54.9%

Richmond County - 49.1%
Dobbins Heights - 37.5%
Ellerbe - 29.6%
Hamlet - 50.1%
Hoffman - 41.8%
Norman - 31.9%
Rockingham - 52.5%
Robeson County - 45.2%
Fairmont - 50.4%
Lumber Bridge - 30.4%
Lumberton - 46.8%
Marietta - 41.3%
Maxton - 40.5%
McDonald - 57.1%
Orrum - 29.3%
Parkton - 36.9%
Pembroke - 33.5%
Proctorville - 40.3%
Red Springs - 47.1%
Rennert - 41.4%
Rowland - 32.3%
St. Pauls - 49.3%

Scotland County - 52.4%
Gibson - 35.5%
Laurinburg - 55.0%
Wagram - 37.5%

North Carolina Pauses in Safer At Home Phase 2, Adds Statewide Requirement for Face Coverings
As trends move in the wrong direction, state will not yet move into Phase 3
COVID-19 Ongoing Outbreaks in Congregate Living Settings

In order to standardize reporting regarding COVID-19 outbreaks in congregate living settings, the NC Department of Health and Human Services will update this report two times per week that will include the names of facilities where there is an ongoing outbreak and the number of positive COVID-19 cases at the facility related to that outbreak. As this pandemic continues to evolve, we continually reassess the appropriateness of data reporting to balance transparency, public health and individual privacy.
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
Holding Public Meetings in Accordance with Senate Bill 704

The US House of Representatives is currently considering the "Flexibility for Localities and Eligibility Expansion Act of 2020" H.R. 6652. This bill would provide local governments the opportunity to utilize COVID-19 relief funds to help offset lost revenues that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic.
National Association on Counties

NEW Webinar Series on Health Equity and Social Solidarity in the Time of Pandemic: Strategies for COVID-19 Response and Recovery

The series highlights the challenges communities are facing as they respond to COVID-19 and its impacts and serves as an opportunity for community leaders across the nation to learn from lead researchers, policymakers and each other.

Exploring Guaranteed Income as a Strategy to Address Income Inequality

COVID-19: Disproportionate Impact on Black Communities

COVID-19: Disproportionate Impact on Tribal Nations
Thursday, July 9 at 3pm ET

US COVID-19 Mapping: Bridging Data with Historical Context
Tuesday, July 21 at 3pm ET

Responding to Crisis in the Latino Population with an Equity Lens
Thursday, August 13 at 3pm ET
160D Update and New Effective Date
David W. Owens | UNC School of Government

The General Assembly gave final approval to the General Statutes Commission bill that incorporates all the 2019 enacted legislation that affected statutes merged into Ch. 160D. This bill, S. 720, also makes a number of modest clarifying and technical fixes to Chapter 160D. The bill was sent to the Governor for approval.

The bill will make 160D effective upon the effective date of S. 720. So if the Governor signs S. 720 in the next week or so, 160D will become effective on that date. The COVID-19 bill enacted in May of this year delayed the effective date of Chapter 160D until August 1, 2021 in case the General Assembly did not have time to get to this General Statutes Commission bill. Since the General Assembly did get to the GSC bill, the COVID-19 delay is being repealed and replaced by this new effective date. While this legislation makes Chapter 160D effective this month, it also recognizes that some local governments will need additional time to update their ordinances given the delays and disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore this bill gives local governments an extra six months, should it be needed, to bring their regulations into conformity with Chapter 160D. Those local governments that are ready to act can do so immediately, but cities and counties can take until July 1, 2021 to complete their ordinance updates if need be. Since local ordinances will be amended at various times over the next year to conform with Chapter 160D, this law provides that valid local government development regulations that are in effect now remain in effect, but local governments are directed to amend them to conform on or before July 1. 2021. It further provides that Chapter 160D applies to local government development regulation decisions made on or after the earlier of: (i) the effective date of the amendments to local development regulations made to conform to the provisions of Chapter 160D or (ii) July 1, 2021. So the provisions of Chapter 160D will be phased in around the state as each local government adopts its ordinance updates, with a deadline of July 1, 2021 for that to happen.
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 Hope4NC 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.
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
Institute for Emerging Issues (IEI) BAND-NC Grant
The Institute for Emerging Issues at NC State (IEI) in partnership with the Broadband Infrastructure Office at the NC Department of Information Technology, is addressing the digital divide across NC through a new program called “Building a New Digital Economy” (BAND-NC). BAND-NC will provide rapid-response community innovation mini-grants to communities across the state.
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
Urban Agriculture and Innovation Production (UAIP) Competitive Grants Program
Deadline- July 6, 2020

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.
A webinar was  held on June 3, 2020 to provide an overview of the UAIP program purpose, project types, eligibility, and basic requirements for the submission of an application.
SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Advance Program Reopened to All Eligible Small Businesses and Non-Profits Impacted by COVID-19 Pandemic

SBA’s EIDL program offers long-term, low interest assistance for a small business or non-profit. These loans can provide vital economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue. EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or fund other expenses. Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid.
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 supports North Carolina small businesses and family farms as they grapple with, and recover from, the economic impact of COVID-19. This rapid recovery loan helps small businesses bridge the gap between when crisis strikes and when federal loans and other relief funds are approved, or businesses have time to recover. The NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan is supported by North Carolina entities and is for North Carolina businesses. It is designed to complement federal and other assistance programs, but it is not directly associated with the Small Business Administration (SBA).
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
FY 2020 EDA Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Programs including CARES Act Funding
Suggested Reads
National Association of Counties (NACo) Brief
Fast-track Innovation: Area Agencies on Aging Respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic

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