Council of Governments
Creative Regional Solutions

March 12, 2020
News & Updates for the Mid-Carolina Region
Grants, resources, training, important dates, and more.
For Your Information
Coronavirus Response
Southeast NC Regional Trails Plan
Broadband Access in Rural America
Strengthening Rural Communities
Ensuring Rural Counts
MCCOG Quarterly Managers Lunch
MCCOG Board of Directors Meeting
Important Dates
Share Your Good News
Coronavirus Response
Across the country, government agencies and officials at the local, state, and federal levels continue to respond to possible threats from the Coronavirus outbreak. At MCCOG, Area Agency on Aging staff is reaching out to local adult service providers to get status updates and offer assistance.  NC’s 16 regional councils, including MCCOG, have offered to assist our state government with response efforts at the regional and local levels.
The Mid-Carolina Senior Games are scheduled to begin on April 8. MCCOG staff and our partners are considering action concerning a postponement of the games. A decision will be made in the short-term and the region will be notified as soon as possible.
Please email Justin Hembree, MCCOG, if there is any way the Council can assist your jurisdiction with response efforts.
Southeast NC Regional Trails Plan
NC State Parks is working to develop a regional trails plan for southeast NC. Cumberland, Harnett, and Sampson Counties are located in the planning area. The plan will develop a framework that connects communities in southeastern NC to natural and cultural resources, increases public access to trails and recreation, and enhances the quality of life for residents and visitors.  Click here to view the plan website.

To assist in the planning process, please take a few minutes to complete a brief survey to share your vision for trails and greenways in the region.  Click here to complete the survey.
Broadband Access in Rural America

In 2019, the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) joined as a partner in the Bridging the Economic Divide Initiative , which is led by the National Association of Counties (NACo) in partnership with the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP), the Rural Local Initiatives Support Corporation (Rural LISC), the Farm Credit Council, Land O'Lakes, Inc., and NADO. This group of partners has been working together to address the critical need for affordable high-speed internet connectivity in rural communities across the country. The initiative aims to improve access to reliable, high-speed internet by developing a mobile app designed to identify areas with low or no connectivity. 

This partnership has culminated in the release of a new report, Understanding the True State of Connectivity in America . The report discusses the data collected through the TestIT app for internet connectivity. Data from the app shows that nearly 60 percent of counties experience fixed wireless internet speeds slower than the standard. Lack of reliable broadband is a major barrier to socioeconomic opportunity, education, health, and overall quality of life. Access to high-speed internet is also consistently voiced as a top challenge facing small businesses in rural America and stifles entrepreneurship by limiting the ability of individuals to take on independent work. In this economy, broadband is critical to building resilient and future ready communities. To view the full report and learn more about the TestIT app, click here .
Strengthening Rural Communities
The Minnesota Housing Partnership (MHP) is currently accepting applications for its Strengthening Rural Communities Program . Rooted in Minnesota but recognized as a leader nationwide, MHP specializes in working with rural communities and tribal entities to strengthen their communities.

Through a competitive application process, the Strengthening Rural Communities Program provides technical assistance to rural communities to overcome impediments to successful planning and implementation of affordable housing and community development projects. From innovative planning practices to knowledge of complex federal housing programs, MHP gives organizations the ability to build and preserve housing and community assets. Applications for technical assistance are due April 15, 2020.   Click here to learn more.
Ensuring Rural Counts
The NC Rural Center has partnered with the  NC Counts Coalition  to ensure that every North Carolinian is counted in the 2020 census. The NC Counts Coalition and its partners have identified 15 counties with the highest risk of a census undercount. 
Anson, Bertie, Cumberland , Duplin, Durham, Edgecombe, Guilford, Halifax, Hoke, Mecklenburg, Northampton, Robeson, Sampson , Scotland, and Vance counties have the greatest intersecting risk factors for populations historically undercounted.

Risk factors include: 
  • Share of residents living in one of the tracts predicted to be hardest to count in 2020
  • Tracts with the highest share of children under age five
  • Tracts with the highest share of homes without broadband
  • Tracts with the highest share of all three factors combined
Click here to learn more.
MCCOG Quarterly Managers Lunch
The next Mid-Carolina Quarterly Managers Lunch will be held at Gates Four Golf and Country Club on March 24.   Email Justin Hembree, MCCOG, for more details or to RSVP.
MCCOG Board of Directors Meeting
The Mid-Carolina Board of Directors will meet on March 26 from 12noon until 1:30pm at Erwin Town Hall. The meeting is open to the public.
Important Dates
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
April 24 Common Ground Summit
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.