Creating Regional Solutions Since 1971
June 2020
Preparing for 2020 Hurricane Season

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is providing information and guidance for emergency managers and public health officials on FEMA plans to adapt hurricane response and recovery operations related to COVID-19.   
COVID-19 Will Create Long-Term Impact on State DOT Revenues

State departments of transportation continue to grapple with significant revenue reductions due to the COVID-19 pandemic – reductions that many expect will be long-term in nature. Julie Lorenz, secretary of the Kansas Department of Transportation, said in a  May 8 letter  that her agency is expected to lose between $100 million and $450 million worth of transportation revenues due to reductions in sales tax and motor fuel tax collections.
NCDOT Cuts Likely to Impact Municipal Budgets

Major funding shortfalls at the N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) will lead to cuts that will impact city and town budgets in the next fiscal year, according to information shared this week with the League by agency leaders. In a meeting with NCDOT Chief Operating Officer Bobby Lewis on Thursday, League staff received updates on the extent of the agency's fiscal constraints. Lewis said a preliminary estimate was that the agency would lose $670 million due to the COVID-19 crisis, a number that compounded the agency's preexisting financial woes.

As a result, Lewis said, the agency would likely propose across-the-board cuts to its budget ranging from 15 to 25 percent cuts to all areas of its operations, including Powell Bill funds. Further, the agency already stopped most road projects and all routine maintenance activities. City officials may want to consider the extent to which they would pick up the state's maintenance responsibilities in the coming fiscal year, including the following activities on NCDOT right-of-way in town limits:

  • Pavement patching
  • Traffic signal maintenance
  • Mowing and landscaping
  • Sign repairs
  • Storm repairs 
Fostering Inclusive Public Engagement in Local Government

It is clear that reform of public engagement in local governments is long overdue. An opportunity for such a reform is emerging out of the tragedy of the COVID-19 pandemic. As local governments cope with the crisis, they should strengthen their relationship with their residents by adopting measures that are inclusive and sensitive to all the constituencies in their jurisdiction.
An ‘Avalanche of Evictions’ Could Be Bearing Down on America’s Renters

The economic downturn is shaping up to be particularly devastating for renters, who are more likely to be lower-income and work hourly jobs cut during the pandemic.

“Just three months ago, the United States was seeing its longest economic expansion on record, a period of growth that started in 2010 and continued through February 2020. “Just three months ago, our major worries were whether a looming trade war with China was going to slow the economy down in 2020,” said John Connaughton, Barings Professor of Financial Economics at UNC Charlotte’s Belk College of Business. “For the second quarter of the year, the North Carolina economy, like the U.S. economy, experienced its biggest decline in Gross State Product (GSP) since the Great Depression of the 1930s.” Connaughton, presenting the quarterly Barings/UNC Charlotte Economic Forecast on Thursday, May 28, offered a few scenarios for the remainder of 2020. “Going forward from the middle of 2020, the No. 1 question is how long before the economy gets back to its 2019 level and when does the unemployment rate again approach full employment,” Connaughton said. Given the hit the economy took during the second quarter of 2020, it is likely to take until mid-2022 before Gross Domestic Product (GDP) recovers, he said. The unemployment rate will take even longer, another six to nine months, before it drops below 5%, Connaughton added.”
Census 2020: North Carolina Moves Closer to National Average
N.C. Ranks 34th Among States

Across the country, 59.6 percent of people have self-reported as of May 17. In North Carolina, that number is only 55.8 percent .

Keep up to date on North Carolina's progress here , follow the rankings here , and continue your local efforts to increase the count. 
10 Ways Census Data is Used

  1. Decision making at all levels of government
  2. Drawing federal, state and local legislative districts
  3. Attracting new businesses to state and local areas
  4. Distributing billions in federal funds and even more in state funds
  5. Forecasting future transportation needs for all segments of the population
  6. Planning for hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and the location of other health services
  7. Forecasting future housing needs for all segments of the population
  8. Directing funds for services for people in poverty
  9. Designating public safety strategies
  10. Development of rural areas

The Economic Research Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) frequently provides information on population, income, poverty, and food security, among other economic indicators. Data are available for all States, and for metro/non-metro breakouts within States. Links to county-level data are provided where available. The State Fact Sheets were updated May 13, 2020. Statistics on population and employment/unemployment have been updated with the latest available data (2019).  
AMEXCAN announces Eastern North Carolina Rural Collaborative

The Association of Mexicans in North Carolina (AMEXCAN) is pleased to announce a new project to better serve the Eastern North Carolina Community, an “ Eastern North Carolina Rural Collaborative .” One of the main internal priorities of AMEXCAN and many other similar organizations is expanding and consolidating a network of allies to better coordinate and amplify our work to best serve our constituent communities in this region of North Carolina.  AMEXCAN envisions first a mutually shared catalog of partner contacts with an end-goal of maintaining a tangible framework of collaboration.  For partners in this Rural Collaborative, information will be shared, referrals will be made, and responses to crises or disasters will be planned and implemented as a collective.

As each prospective partner has their own respective mission, area of focus, and target populations, this Rural Collaborative may serve as a first step in expediting a combination of expertise to provide a wholly comprehensive approach in serving Eastern North Carolina communities.  By completing  this form  to join, these types of details for your organization can be indicated in order to be compiled and shared with all member partners.  AMEXCAN hopes to begin regular dialogue with fellow non-profit organizations, private enterprises, and local government departments to live up to this project’s namesake – serving those in need in Eastern North Carolina, and notably rural residents, in a collaborative manner.
NC 2020 Annual Action Plan

The State of North Carolina is seeking comments on the 2020 Annual Action Plan. This document, the 2020 Consolidated Annual Action Plan of the State of North Carolina , serves as the annual application to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for funding for the following housing-related projects from the following programs:  Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), HOME Investment Partnership (HOME), national Housing Trust Fund (HTF), and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA).

COMMENT PERIOD : Comments concerning the 2020 Consolidated Annual Action Plan: The comment period is from May 21, 2020 through June 21, 2020. Written comments will be accepted until 5:00 p.m., June 21, 2020 and may be made via email to , fax (919)715-0096, or mailed to Valerie D. Moore, Attn: Public Comment, Rural Economic Development Division 4346 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-4346. All mailed comments must be postmarked no later than June 21, 2020. 
News from the NC Pandemic Recovery Office (NCPRO)

We've been asked a lot of questions regarding allowable expenses. We welcome your questions but you may find many of your answers in this guidance from the U.S. Treasury as well as our newly published FAQs (link below). Our new NCPRO website is also up and running! You can find it at . Please use  to continue to contact us until we can get the office more fully staffed.
EDA Invites Applications for Economic Development Grant Opportunities

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) invites applicants to submit applications under its Public Works program and Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) programs. Through these programs, EDA invites applications to request grant assistance for clearly defined construction or non-construction assistance projects that will advance job creation, job retention and private investment or enhance economic development decision-making, respectfully. 

Through EDA’s grant programs construction may support the construction of new public assets or the renovation of existing public assets, which include but are not limited to water/sewer lines, tanks, systems, pumps; incubators; access roads; workforce training facilities; commercialization centers; port improvements; and other similar projects.  EDA’s non-construction projects can support a wide array of activities, including highest and best use analysis, cluster and supply chain mapping studies, and regional technical assistance projects. Matching share funds are required and must be committed at the time of the project and for the same scope of work. For Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Programs the match is generally 50 percent, although communities may qualify for a higher grant rate. To learn more and to discuss potential projects, please contact Hillary Sherman at . To access the funding notice and application forms, please go to:

EDA Announces Availability of Funding to Support Communities Impacted by Coronavirus Pandemic

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) released an Addendum to is Fiscal Year 202 Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Notice of Funding (FY 20 PEAA NOFO) to invite applicants to submit applications for funding made available under the CARES Act. 

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

EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance investments will support a wide range of non-construction and construction activities, including Revolving Loan Funds, in regions across the country experiencing severe economic dislocations brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. Funds are intended to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

Examples of projects that EDA may fund through its CARES Act Recovery Assistance 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.

Eligible applicants under the EAA program include a(n):
•                District Organization;
•                Indian Tribe or a consortium of Indian Tribes;
•                State, county, city, or other political subdivision of a State, including a special purpose unit of a State or local government engaged in economic or infrastructure development activities, or a consortium of political subdivisions;
•                Institution of higher education or a consortium of institutions of higher education; or
•                Public or private non-profit organization or association acting in cooperation with officials of a political subdivision of a State.

For more information, please visit the EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance page at . Applications must be submitted via To locate the application package, please go to

EPA Releases Grant Funding to Address COVID-19 Impacts Faced by Vulnerable Communities

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is making $1 million in grant funding available to states, local governments, tribes, and territories for projects to improve the health and welfare of low income, minority, tribal and indigenous communities. EPA will give special consideration to those applications aimed at addressing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic communities with EJ concerns. The State Environmental Justice Environmental Justice (SEJCA) Cooperative Agreement Program will provide funds to eligible states, local governments, tribes and territories. EPA anticipates issuing 5 grants of approximately $200,000 each for a two-year funding period. Applications are due by Tuesday, June 30, 2020 at 11:59PM Eastern Time. To learn more, please go to:

NC State Extension Announces Initiative to Strengthen and Retain Accommodation, Tourism, and Entertainment Sectors

NC State recently announced that it is launching the “CREATE BRIDGES” initiative. Through this effort one multi-county region (expecting between 2-5 contiguous counties) in the state will be selected through a focused technical assistance program to strengthen its retail, accommodation, tourism and entertainment sectors. The selected region will receive over $250,000 in technical assistance, as well as $100,000 in incentives and implementation funding. The RFP is expected to be released on June 1, 2020 with applications due August 3, 2020. 
COVID-19 Cleaning Grants

These grants are meant to help defray some of the costs ​​​​​​​related to professional cleaning/sanitizing of municipal office environments when a positive exposure of COVID-19 has occurred.

Members of the League's Workers' Compensation and Property & Casualty Trusts are eligible to apply for up to $2,500. Grants will be provided to eligible applicants on a first-come, first-served basis. Cleaning products and PPE are not covered;  read the full 2020 Grant Guidelines ​. 

ACL Announces Funding Opportunity for Closing the Health Disparity Gap for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

The Administration on Disabilities (AoD) at the Administration for Community Living (ACL) is announcing a new funding opportunity for "Closing the Health Disparity Gap for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (ID/DD): Strengthening the U.S. Health Care Workforce".

Many health care providers do not receive the training needed to ensure that individuals with ID/DD receive adequate and equitable care. AoD seeks to improve health outcomes for the ID/DD population by changing the training received by medical and other health-professions students. This project is a critical activity of AoD’s strategic priority to reduce health disparities, extend life expectancy, and ensure access to equitable and accessible healthcare. It will complement the AoD’s Center for Dignity in Healthcare for People with Disabilities (CDHPD) at the University of Cincinnati Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCCEDD) funded last year.

ACL seeks to fund one five-year cooperative agreement (totaling $1,750,000) that will increase and accelerate current efforts to embed ID/DD content into medical and allied health school education programs. The goal of the project is to improve quality healthcare for individuals with ID/DD by increasing the ID/DD-specific knowledge, skills, attitudes, and competence of the health care workforce. 

The intended outcomes of the project will be an increase in the number of medical and allied health professional students trained in ID/DD; increased student knowledge of the health care needs of individuals with ID/DD; increased number of medical and allied health professionals reporting being prepared to provide health care to individuals with ID/DD; and increasing the knowledge and skills of the medical and allied health care faculty to train students on the ID/DD population.

Please visit the link above for more details about the grant opportunity and application process. This grant opportunity closes on June 29, 2020 .
NC Local News Lab Fund Grant

Made available through the NC Network of Grantmakers, this opportunity provides resources to support general operating grants of up to $30,000 to 501(c)(3) public charity non-profit entities that serve NC residents and their rapidly evolving information needs.  Applications must be received by noon on June 15 . To learn more, please go to:

Commerce Invites Requests from Pool of More Than $28 Million in Community Development Grant Funds

Community leaders are invited to apply for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for 2020. The 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.

The North Carolina Department of Commerce will administer nearly $28.52 million in Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) funds awarded to the State by the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to support North Carolina’s COVID-19 response efforts. This allocation was authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, known as the CARES Act. The measure was signed by President Trump on March 27 to respond to the growing effects of this historic public health crisis.

The CARES Act made available $5 billion for HUD grants such as CDBG for special allocations to states and individual communities. As required, the North Carolina State 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, rehabilitating homes for vulnerable populations, and repurposing buildings into patient treatment centers.

Information about grant-eligible activities or potential program waivers is avaiable. Contact Valerie D. Moore, Commerce's CDBG Section Chief by email at .
Planning and Development
Join the Broadband Task Force, Be Part of the Solution

The Upper Coastal Plain Broadband Task Force (BBTF) meets every two months to talk broadband and develop strategies to attract affordable, reliable, and adequate Internet Service Providers to the region’s unserved and underserved areas. Since its inception in April 2019, the BBTF has guided UCPCOG in obtaining $72,000 from EDA to support a Regional Broadband Study.    

To keep the momentum going and to help obtain $18,000 of in-kind match, BBTF members will assist UCPCOG staff in carrying out the Regional Broadband Study’s scope of work, which includes developing public surveys, mapping regional broadband assets, hosting technical workshops, educating the community, providing resources to communities to attract quality Internet Service Providers, and more.  Now is a great time get involved in this project, join the BBTF, a have a role in solving the region’s broadband connectivity issues. 

To join or to request additional information, simply contact Ben Farmer, UCPCOG Economic Development Planner: or (252)-234-5966. 
Seaboard Sewer Upgrades Scores Huge Grant

Plans for a critical infrastructure upgrade in the town of Seaboard has received another major partner.

Late last week, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration(EDA) awarded a $992,576 grant to the Town of Seaboard for upgrades to the town’s aging wastewater system.

The improvements are needed to support existing businesses, including a major lumber manufacturing facility, West Fraser Timber Ltd. (West Fraser), and to attract new businesses.
USDA Announces Cooperative Agreements for Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction

WASHINGTON, May 11, 2020 – 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.
“Food waste shouldn’t end up in landfills when options like food recovery and composting are available,” Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey said. “Such options not only benefit communities and the environment, they can also provide farmers and urban gardeners with exceptional, nutrient dense planting material.”
“We are tapping into the creativity of communities across the nation to rethink the lifecycle of food in ways that minimize waste and maximize use.” said Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach. “We look forward to highlighting the innovative practices of selected pilot projects.”

WorkForce Development
New Data: NC Unemployment Insurance Claims
Are U.S. Homes Ready for an Aging Population?

This report uses data from the American Housing Survey (AHS) to explore the prevalence of housing units with aging-accessible features. AHS is a panel survey of housing units conducted every 2 years with rotating topical modules. Unlike many surveys that sample people, AHS is specifically designed to measure housing and the stock, quality, and features of housing units. 

New Data Brief Highlights Key Findings on Home Modification and Repair
A new Data Brief released earlier this week, Building Community Capacity to Serve Older Adults: The Role of Area Agencies on Aging in Home Modifications and Repairs, highlights key findings on home modification and repair from the 2019 National Survey of Area Agencies on Aging. This important new Data Brief, which was developed in collaboration with n4a partner the University of Southern California Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, summarizes how AAAs are providing and funding home modification and repair services. Check out a blog post from n4a CEO Sandy Markwood on the topic.

Feeding America is a national nonprofit researching and responding to insufficient food resources. In this annual report, the organization provides rates of food insecurity among Americans age 60 or older, with data breakdowns by metropolitan and non-metropolitan settings.

Join us for a webinar hosted by the National Center on Elder Abuse:
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2020 Webinar

When: Monday, June 15, 2020, at 11:00 a.m. PT/2:00 p.m. ET.

On this World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD), June 15, 2020, we are truly finding that elder abuse is a global issue with global solutions. Partners throughout the Federal government are coming together to share their innovations.  Join us for a national conversation about prominent elder justice issues, trends and resources available to promote awareness, provide support and offer solutions in upholding justice for Older Americans. 

Hear from the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) and partners at Elder Justice Initiative at the Department of Justice (DOJ), Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Social Security Administration (SSA), Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), National Center on Law & Elder Rights (NCLER), and the Administration for Community Living (ACL).
Due to the social distancing requirements of COVID-19, we are going to present our “How to Apply” training for the Community Development Block Grants for critically needed water and sewer infrastructure on June 22, 2020. See the announcement below:

How to Apply Training for the CDBG-Infrastructure Program

The CDBG-Infrastructure staff in the NC Department of Environmental Quality is offering on-line How to Apply training through WebEx on June 22, 2020, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  The session will be recorded. Topics include determining low to moderate income percentage during COVID-19, pointers on data and data sources needed to document need in the project area, and details needed in planning documents to receive points in the application.

We anticipate approximately $25.5 million to be available for funding. Training materials (application, forms, etc. are available at .

TO SIGN UP:  Contact Colleen Simmons at , and provide your name, email address and phone number. We will email you a link to the meeting once you have registered.
121 W. Nash St. Wilson, NC 27893