Council of Governments
Creative Regional Solutions

May 14, 2020
News & Updates for the Mid-Carolina Region
More Than $28 Million in Grant Funds Available
EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance Program
Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction
Long-Term Economic Recovery Strategies Webinar
Funding and Financing Strategies Webinar
More Than $28 Million in Grant Funds Available
NC community leaders are invited to apply for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for 2020. The NC Department of Commerce and its Rural Economic Development team has posted  new guidance and an application form on the agency's website . A new category of funding for 2020 addresses the current COVID-19 situation.

NC Commerce will administer nearly $28.52 million in Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) funds awarded to the state by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to support NC’s COVID-19 response efforts. This allocation was authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act , known as the CARES Act.

The CARES Act made available $5 billion for HUD grants such as CDBG for special allocations to states and individual communities. As required, the NC CDBG-CV allocation will be allocated to non-entitlement areas across the state, which include incorporated municipalities under 50,000 and counties under 200,000 in population.

In addition to the CDBG-CV program, non-entitlement local units of government are encouraged to apply for the NC Neighborhood Revitalization Program (CDBG-NR) to assist with local needs identified by the community in collaboration with state and local health officials to prepare, prevent, and respond to the coronavirus. Projects could include, but are not limited to, stabilizing housing , r ehabilitating homes for vulnerable populations , and repurposing buildings into patient treatment centers .

For more information, contact Valerie Moore, NC Commerce's CDBG Section Chief, by email at  valerie.moore@nccommerce.com . You may also contact Justin Hembree, MCCOG Executive Director, at jhembree@mccog.org .
EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance Program
The US Economic Development Administration (EDA) is now accepting applications from eligible grantees for  Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) supplemental funds (EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance) intended to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.

In March, President Trump  signed  the $2 trillion CARES Act into law. The CARES Act provides EDA with $1.5 billion of which $1.467 billion is available for grant making.

EDA will make CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants under the authority of its  Economic Adjustment Assistance   Program (EAA), which is intended to be flexible and responsive to the economic development needs and priorities of local and regional stakeholders.

Examples of projects that EDA may fund through its CARES Act Recovery Assistance Program include economic recovery planning and preparing technical assistance strategies to address economic dislocations caused by the coronavirus pandemic, preparing or updating resiliency plans to respond to future pandemics, implementing entrepreneurial support programs to diversify economies, and constructing public works and facilities that will support economic recovery, including the deployment of broadband for purposes including supporting telehealth and remote learning for job skills.

For more information, please visit the  EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance Page or contact Justin Hembree, MCCOG Executive Director, via email at jhembree@mccog.org .
Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced the availability of $900,000 for local governments to host Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction (CCFWR) pilot projects 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 will accept applications on  grants.gov  until midnight June 26 ,. Projects should span two years with a start date of October 1, 2020 and completion date of September 29, 2022.

Cooperative agreements support projects led by local governments that:
1) generate compost
2) increase access to compost for agricultural producers
3) reduce reliance on, and limit the use of, fertilizer
4) improve soil quality
5) encourage waste management and permaculture business development
6) increase rainwater absorption
7) reduce municipal food waste
8) divert food waste from landfills

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service will provide assistance for conservation related activities.

Priority will be given to projects that anticipate or demonstrate economic benefits, incorporate plans to make compost easily accessible to farmers, including community gardeners, integrate other food waste strategies, including food recovery efforts, and collaborate with multiple partners.

A webinar, which will be held on June 4 from 2pm to 4pm, will provide an overview of the cooperative agreements’ purpose, project types, eligibility, and basic requirements for submitting an application. Information on  how to register and participate in the webinar , or listen to the recording, will be posted at  farmers.gov/urban .

Questions about this cooperative agreement opportunity can be sent to  urbanagriculture@usda.gov .
Long-Term Economic Recovery Strategies Webinar
The  National Association of Development Associations (NADO) Research Foundation  will host a webinar on  May 19 at 2pm  featuring Erik Pages, founder of  EntreWorks Consulting , on how communities can recover from economic shocks over the long-term.

Lessons shared will draw on strategies related to recovering from a natural disaster, a unique event like a military base closure, or from a major industry downturn, such as the ongoing decline of the coal industry. Topics highlighted will include economic diversification, business assistance, talent development, improved infrastructure and amenities, and more.

Click  here  to register. This webinar is offered as part of the NADO Research Foundation's  Stronger CEDS, Stronger Regions Program , funded by the US Economic Development Administration. Contact Brett Schwartz at  bschwartz@nado.org  for more information. 
Funding and Financing Strategies Webinar
The Environmental Finance Center Network and the Smart Management for Small Water Systems Program is hosting a webinar that will focus on funding and financing strategies for integrated hazard mitigation and water resource plans. The webinar is set for May 27 from 2pm until 3pm .

In light of increasing development, ever-changing conditions, increasingly stressed infrastructure, and growing financial pressures, integrating hazard mitigation and water quality-focused resource management is becoming more and more important to the success of water systems and other public-serving entities. This webinar will provide strategies for incorporating funding and financial strategies into integrated plans and explore various solutions for how local communities can pay for water resource projects.

Click here to learn more and to register.
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 Executive Director.

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
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.