Council of Governments
Creative Regional Solutions

February 20, 2020
News & Updates for the Mid-Carolina Region
Grants, resources, training, important dates, and more.
For Your Information
New Broadband Program Launched
Southeast NC Regional Trails Plan Stakeholder Workshop
NCDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Grants
Sampson Community College Awarded $2.6 Million
USA Opportunity Zones Tool
2020 NCDOT Mobi Awards
Opportunity Zones and Economic Development Planning Webinar Recording
2020 NC Main Street Conference Reminder
Hello NC
New Campaign to Fight Scammers
Peak Performance Training
Not in My Backyard Webinar
NADO Research Foundation Data Deep Dive Webinars
Important Dates
Share Your Good News
New Broadband Program Launched
BAND-NC, a broadband initiative of Roanoke Electric Cooperative and NC’s electric cooperatives, in partnership with the NC Broadband Infrastructure Office recently announced a grant program that will provide up to $5,000 to NC counties to develop plans to increase the percentage of residents that adopt and are able to use broadband services. MCCOG staff will monitor the rollout of the program and provide additional information when available.  Click here for more details. Contact Justin Hembree, MCCOG, at jhembree@mccog.org with questions.
Southeast NC Regional Trails Plan Stakeholder Workshop
As part of the Southeast NC Regional Trails Plan , NC State Parks is holding a stakeholder workshop for the Mid-Carolina Region, Cumberland, Harnett, and Sampson Counties, on  Wednesday, March 11 from 1pm to 3pm  .

The workshop will be held at the  Harnett County Administration Building ,  420 McKinney Parkway ,  Lillington ,  NC 27546  .

Project managers will cover the process for developing the regional trails plan and provide an overview of existing conditions in the region. Feedback will be solicited on a variety of topics – verifying existing and proposed trails, local visions for trails in the region, identifying desired locations for trails, and potential opportunities and challenges for trail building.

Decision-makers and staff at the municipal and county levels who can inform the planning process and want to learn more about implementing the final network are invited. Potential participants include:

  • Elected Officials, County Managers, Municipal Managers
  • Parks and Recreation Staff
  • Planning Staff
  • Municipal, County, and Regional Transportation Staff
  • Economic and Community Development Professionals

More information about the project can be found at  http://www.southeastnctrails.com/  .

Please RSVP  by contacting  Laura Stroud  at  stroud@mcadamsco.com  .
NCDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Grants
The NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT) is accepting applications for the 2020 Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Grant Initiative . The program provides funding for local governments across the state to develop comprehensive bicycle or pedestrian plans.  Click here to view NCDOT’s grant program webpage.
All NC municipalities and NC counties with populations less than 50,000 are eligible to apply for a standard bike or pedestrian plan.
  • Counties with populations of less than 50,000 may apply for funds to develop either a bicycle or pedestrian plan. 
  • Municipalities with populations of less than 10,000 can apply to develop combined bicycle and pedestrian plans. 
  • Municipalities of less than 5,000 may seek funding for a Project Acceleration Plan, an abbreviated plan primarily focusing on priority project identification and implementation. 
  • All municipalities and counties with populations of less than 50,000 with a bicycle or pedestrian plan may apply for funds to update their plan if it is at least five years old.
The application deadline is May 19 and recipients will be notified by September 2020 . A short webinar is scheduled for March 17 to describe the grant program and respond to any questions from potential applicants. For more information on the Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning Grant Initiative, contact Bryan Lopez , NCDOT, at balopez@ncdot.gov .

Please contact Mike Rutan , Mid-Carolina RPO, at mrutan@mccog.org if you are interested in submitting an application. 
Sampson Community College Awarded $2.6 Million
On February 3, US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2.6 million grant to Sampson Community College to increase the number of skilled workers available to meet regional trucking industry needs by expanding the college’s truck driving school.

The EDA project, to be located in an Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $647,345 in local funds and is expected to help create 291 jobs , retain 243 jobs , and generate more than $13.5 million in private investment . The grant application process involved a partnership of many Sampson County leaders and the Southeastern Economic Development Commission , our region’s EDA Economic Development District.

Congratulations to Sampson County!  This is a major win for the County and theMid-Carolina Region.
USA Opportunity Zones Tool
The US Economic Development Administration and Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business (IBRC) recently launched the USA Opportunity Zones Tool , a new web-based tool to help EDA-designated Economic Development Districts, local economic and community developers, and investors target private investment in economically-distressed areas where investments may be eligible for tax incentives under the Opportunity Zones initiative . The USA Opportunity Zones Tool is easy to use, with multiple reports from the perspective of the zone itself, the congressional district, and the economic development district and state in which it resides.
2020 NCDOT Mobi Awards
The Fayetteville Area System of Transit’s (FAST) Transit Center has been nominated to compete for a 2020 NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT) Mobi Award . NCDOT Mobi Awards recognize projects that showcase the important and transformation role that investments in multimodal transportation play in creating vibrant communities in all parts of NC.

To vote for the FAST Transit Center nomination, click here , type “Fayetteville” in the toolbar, and click on the picture.  Voting is open the everyone and ends tomorrow, February 21 .
Opportunity Zones and Economic Development Planning Webinar Recording
In January 2020, the US Economic Development Administration (EDA) updated its Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDS) Content Guidelines to help communities across America maximize their ability to attract investment to Opportunity Zones.

These  new recommendations   outline how communities can further promote the economic attractiveness of their region by emphasizing Opportunity Zones as key investment-ready locations. The inherently regional focus of the CEDS provides a unique platform to capture and promote the advantages of Opportunity Zone communities.

This webinar recording describes what’s new in the CEDS Content Guidelines related to Opportunity Zones as well as provides a demonstration of the  USA Opportunity Zones Tool   that can support Economic Development Districts, tribes, and other regional organizations, as well as local economic and community developers, with useful and accessible data about Opportunity Zones. This is useful information for organizations responsible for CEDS development, but also for local governments and economic developers in general.
2020 NC Main Street Conference Reminder
This year’s NC Main Street Conference is set for March 10, 11, and 12 in New Bern . The conference will explore the impact of the Main Street Program over the past 40 years and will look to the future for opportunities for engagement. The NC Main Street Conference is the largest statewide downtown revitalization conference in the country Click here for additional information and to register.
Hello NC
The NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources is launching a new initiative to celebrate NC’s rural communities, Hello NC. Hello NC, a platform for rural communities to tell their stories, will explore rural culture across the state, focusing on hometown heroes, history, heritage, food, crafts, festivals, and traditions.  Click here to learn more about Hello NC.
New Campaign to Fight Scammers
The Social Security Administration recently launched a new public service announcement campaign as its latest step to caution the public about the ongoing nationwide telephone impersonation schemes. The Administration continues to receive reports about fraudulent phone calls and  emails  from people falsely claiming to be government employees. The scammers play on emotions like fear to convince people to provide personal information or money in cash, wire transfers, or gift cards. Fraudsters are also emailing fake documents in attempts to get people to comply with their demands. Click here to learn more.
Peak Performance Training
Triangle J COG has extended an invitation for local government officials to attend an in-depth training workshop in mid-March. Brian Elms, author of “Peak Performance” and former Peak Performance Academy for Denver Director, will lead the three-day training.

The workshop will be an immersive learning experience combining innovation, lean and process improvement, and change management practices through hands-on exercises and real-world simulation. Attendees will receive customized training handouts and a copy of Brian's book Peak Performance which details how his team created Denver's innovation program.

The workshop will be held all-day March 18 , all-day March 19 , and until 2pm on March 20 . Space is limited to 25 participants and registration ends on March 6 Click here for more information.
Not in My Backyard Webinar
The International City/County Management Association (ICMA) is hosting “Not in My Backyard: Keys to Addressing the Vocal Minority for Your Sports, Recreation or Parks Project” webinar on February 25 from 1pm until 2:30pm . The webinar will cover messaging, stakeholder engagement, best practices, and much more.

The cost is $149 for ICMA members and $249 for non-members Click here for more information and to register.
NADO Research Foundation Data Deep Dive Webinars
The National Association of Development Organization (NADO) Research Foundation’s Data Deep Dive Webinar Series will feature organizations and their free data tools which can be easily accessed to collect, interpret, and share data to better prepare for local and regional planning efforts.

The free webinars will feature a live demonstration of the tools and time for questions. Webinars are scheduled for 2pm to 3pm . Please register for each webinar separately.
February 27
Center on Rural Innovation  Rural Opportunity Map
Click here to register

March 5
Indiana Business Research Center  StatsAmerica Tools
Click here to register
These webinars are presented as part of the NADO Research Foundation’s  Stronger CEDS, Stronger Regions  program, and are funded through a grant from the  US Economic Development Administration .
Important Dates
February 24 Basic Code Enforcement Training
February 25 Basic Code Enforcement Training
March 4-6 ICMA Southeast Regional Conference
March 10-12 NC Main Street Conference
March 11 Southeast NC Regional Trails Plan Stakeholders Workshop
March 15-18  National Association of Development Organizations Washington Conference
March 17-18  Senior Tar Heel Legislature
March 24 MCCOG Quarterly Managers Lunch
March 26 MCCOG Board of Directors Meeting
March 26  MCCOG Aging Advisory Council
April 1-3 NC Association of Regional Councils of Govenments/The Forum Meeting
April 8-April 27  Mid-Carolina Senior Games
April 9  Mid-Carolina RPO TCC Meeting
April 15  Mid-Carolina RPO TAC Meeting
May 5-7 NC League of Municipalities CityVision Annual Conference
May 13 COG Legislative Day
May 28 MCCOG Board of Directors Meeting
June 16-17 Rural Day
June 18-20 NC City & County Management Association Summer Seminar
June 25 MCCOG Board of Directors Meeting
July 9  Mid-Carolina RPO TCC Meeting
July 22  Mid-Carolina RPO TAC Meeting
August 13-15 NC Association of County Commissioners Annual Conference
August 27 Mid-Carolina Board of Directors Meeting
August 30-September 2 - SE4A Annual Conference
October 8  Mid-Carolina RPO TCC Meeting
October 22 MCCOG Board of Directors Meeting
October 28  Mid-Carolina RPO TAC Meeting
Share Your Good News
If you have news, events, announcements or other items you would like included in an upcoming FYI, please EMAIL Justin Hembree, MCCOG.

Please let us know if you have questions, need additional details about the information we have shared or if there is a way the Council can be of service.
Mid-Carolina Council of Governments
Creative Regional Solutions
Mid-Carolina Council of Governments is a multi-county, planning, development, and human services organization. We reach across county and municipal borders to provide technical assistance to our local governments and to administer programs that benefit our region’s citizens.

Our mission is to provide creative regional solutions to relevant and emerging issues in Cumberland, Harnett, and Sampson Counites while providing a standard of excellence in the delivery of federal, state, and regional services for our local governments and the people they serve.