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."

Over 60 Percent of U.S. Households Have Responded to 2020 Census
As of May 28, 2020

National Self-Response- 60.1%
NC Self-Response- 56.4%
Bladen County- 42.0%
Hoke County- 52.2%
Richmond County- 47.6%
Robeson County- 43.9%
Scotland County- 51.5%
Announcements
North Carolina
Safer At Home Phase 2:
EASING RESTRICTIONS ON TRAVEL, BUSINESS OPERATIONS, AND
MASS GATHERINGS
Count on Me NC
Count on Me NC provides free online training to protect customers and employees in Phase 2 and beyond
Local Government Board Meetings
per Norma R. Houston- UNC School of Government

With regard to local government board meetings, the mass gathering exemption for government operations includes local government in-person board meetings and encompasses government officials, staff, and members of the public attending in-person board meetings. In other words, the mass gathering restriction under EO141 does not apply to or limit the number of members of the public who may attend an in-person board meeting. Section 3 of EO141 lists a series of social distancing recommendations and other measures designed to reduce transmission of COVID-19 which all people are "strongly encouraged" to take; a local government governing board can put these and other similar public health measures in place for in-person board meetings.  In addition, Sec. 10.C. incorporates by reference previous EO provisions making clear that cities and counties may impose more restrictive measures under local declarations. And finally, the authority to conduct meetings remotely remains in effect.
Rural Talk: An Advocacy Speaker Series

Rural Talk: An Advocacy Speaker Series is a 5-part webinar series hosted by the NC Rural Center’s advocacy program, Rural Counts. Rural Talk brings together the voices, expertise, and perspectives from thought leaders at the national, state, and local levels, representing the public, nonprofit, private, and philanthropic sectors to discuss key issues affecting rural North Carolinian’s—broadband, entrepreneurship and small business development, health, housing and water and wastewater infrastructure.

Panels will take place every Thursday at 11 a.m. from May 7 through June 4. A moderator will ground each session in the latest data and research surrounding the issue, and expert panelists will then further speak to the issue, policy solutions, and local innovations. We recognize, too, that there exists a nexus between our Rural Talk topics and the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, and our panelists will address how these issues intersect. Each one-hour session will consist of a 45 minute discussion, followed by a Q&A period. 

Series Schedule:

Thursday, June 4: Rural Water and Wastewater Infrastructure- This panel session will focus on rural water and wastewater infrastructure, specifically regarding issues of fiscal and internal management, sustainability, and the impact of COVID-19.
Getting back to business after Covid-19:
Town Halls, Meetings, & More
Wed, Jun 3, 2020 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM EDT

This will be an 1-hour discussion for local governments and others on the considerations of re-opening amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Attendees will leave better prepared to evaluate their re-opening plans as North Carolina moves through phases to full re-opening.

Specific issues that will be addressed include:

- How to safely hold a public meeting.
- Dealing with the public/customer service.
- Issues surrounding a safe return to work
FREE on-demand access to webinars from UNC School of Government’s Center for Public Leadership and Governance (CPLG)
Budget-Balancing Tactics in a Time of Crisis On-Demand
R esiliency: Calming in Critical Moments On-Demand
Strategies for Stress Management: Working and Living Better in Uncertain Times On-Demand
Webinar: Leveraging Mobile Location Data to Measure Consumer Behavior During the Pandemic
Thursday, June 4, 2020 | 2 p.m. EDT

Special webinar focused on how anonymous mobile location data is being leveraged to assist communities recovering from COVID-19 impacts.
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Websites
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)
LOCAL GOVERNMENT RESOURCES
Resources
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
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 hurricane.grants@ncdcr.gov . 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 Grants.gov 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
Law Enforcement COVID-19 Grant

Known as the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding (CESF) Program, local law enforcement must still file the paperwork to receive the funding. Applications are being processed within 7-10 days in order to get the funding out quickly.

The CESF funding is designed to assist eligible states, units of local government, and tribes in preventing, preparing for, and responding to the coronavirus. The funding is very flexible as long as it related to COVID-19 response. For example, allowable projects and purchases include, but are not limited to, overtime, equipment (including law enforcement and medical personal protective equipment), hiring, supplies (such as gloves, masks, sanitizer), training, travel expenses (particularly related to the distribution of resources to the most impacted areas), and addressing the medical needs of inmates and others in state, local, and tribal prisons, jails, and detention centers. Recipients of CESF grant awards have latitude in awarding sub-grants that will help in preventing, preparing for, and responding to COVID-19, but states are not required to limit their pool of sub-recipients to criminal justice agencies.
Applications are accepted up to May 29, 2020, but, again, they are being approved on a rolling basis, so applying sooner rather than later is recommended.
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
ICMA
Reopening Our Communities: Establishing a Recovery Team

Creating a task force, or a recovery team, of local government employees can help guide and inform how best to reopen your facilities.
Coates' Canons: NC Local Government Law 's blog for articles on interesting topics such as:
CONTACT US

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