Creating Regional Solutions Since 1971
May 2020
NCDOT is in the process of developing the Great Trails State Plan which will draw upon existing plans and new recommendations to identify a network of shared-use (greenways) paths and trails that connects every county in North Carolina, with a focus on connections between population centers and North Carolina State Parks.
The primary outcome of this planning process is to develop a statewide trail map coupled with an action-oriented network plan and 5-year implementation strategy. 
The Great Trails State Plan is being led by NCDOT's Integrated Mobility Division, in coordination with NCDOT Transportation Planning Division and North Carolina State Parks.
As part of the planning process, the N.C. Department of Transportation is encouraging residents and leaders to participate in a brief  survey  on multi-modal transportation in North Carolina. The input will be used to identify a network of shared-use paths and trails that connects​​​ every county in North Carolina.
The public can give feedback in two ways by taking an interactive map survey or a 10-question survey . Participants are encouraged to take both surveys beginning now through September 30th. These surveys are a part of NCDOT’s effort to develop its statewide trail plan and 5-year implementation strategy, called the  Great Trails State Plan .
It is critical that our State Partners hear from our elected officials and planning partners within Edgecombe, Johnston, Nash, and Wilson Counties so that our views and comments are heard and considered.
The Great Trails State Plan is focusing on shared-use paths (or greenways) that can serve transportation purposes, providing connections between where people live, work and play. Please visit, to sign up for information or learn more about the project.
Did you know?

Nash County Farmers Market Now Takes SNAP/EBT - Opens on Saturday

Buying fresh produce at your local farmers market is now an option for SNAP/EBT users!

Double Your Buying Power
 with Fresh Bucks !
What are Fresh Bucks? Fresh Bucks* tokens are extra market dollars for SNAP/EBT users to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables at the market. For each dollar a SNAP user withdraws from their account to spend at the market, they will be matched an additional dollar, up to a total of $20 Fresh Bucks *Fresh Bucks can only be used for fresh produce – fruits and vegetables.

1006 Peachtree Street in Rocky Mount

Open Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Pre-order today and pickup on Saturday!

How to apply for Food Stamps (Snap/EBT)

Apply online at

For Additional Information Visit:

NCDOT News Release

For Immediate Release

C ontact:
Steve Abbott
(919) 707-2661
COVID-19 Impact on NCDOT Revenues Forces Delays of Most Projects

Department anticipates significant impacts to all programs and services

RALEIGH – As people across North Carolina have taken lifesaving measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, traffic volumes have plummeted, causing at least a $300 million budget shortfall for the N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) for this fiscal year (ending June 30).

Because NCDOT revenue is fully funded through the Motor Fuels Tax, Highway Use Tax and DMV fees, this significant impact has forced the department to notify local governments, stakeholders and the general public that all but about 50 major projects scheduled to start in the next 12 months are delayed. 

Projects moving forward are funded by GARVEE bonds, BUILD NC bonds and federal grants.

A list of the projects that are still scheduled to be awarded in the next year is available on the  NCDOT website .

These changes do not affect construction projects already underway or that have already been awarded.

The department is taking other significant steps to decrease expenditures, including:

  • Allowing only mission critical purchases
  • Laying off temporary and embedded consultants
  • Suspending or decreasing many programs and services
  • Hiring freeze (except for positions that impact public safety)

The department is in the process of developing plans for potential furloughs and a Reduction in Force (RIF). Those plans are not yet complete and no decision has been made at this time to enact them.

The 2020 Legislative Session of the North Carolina General Assembly commenced this week, and the School is offering free access to our Legislative Reporting Service to keep track of all the action.

Stay up-to-date on the daily happenings at the NCGA, including bill summaries, faculty commentary on legislation, and more. Users can create free accounts to monitor selected bills and create customized reports.

County Salaries in North Carolina   is a self-reported data repository of county salaries, sponsored by the School of Government. North Carolina counties volunteer to provide this information to benefit other public organizations and the general public.

This report is a downloadable file in Excel format containing salary and wage profiles by position that participating counties are offering for the 2019-2020 fiscal year (based on September 1, 2019 salary levels).

Survey Closes May 8

As the situation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic remains fluid, the School understands your needs may change when the challenges ahead become more clear. The School's ncIMPACT Initiative is conducting a survey to hear more about the challenges public officials are facing and the prospective solutions t hey are hoping to find.

The results of this survey will help the School better anticipate and respond to the needs of public officials and the communities they serve. Please respond to the survey by clicking here .
Make sure you are counted!

You can complete your 2020 Census safely in your home either online (, by phone, or by paper form. Completing your Census makes sure a Census worker does not need to visit your home during NonResponse Follow Up later and maintains social distancing.  

If you haven't responded to the Census yet, it's not too late. Census data collection will continue into the summer, but you don't need to wait. Be counted now! It's quick, easy, safe, and important for the future of all North Carolina communities.

Visit the North Carolina census website for more information –
Preparing for 2020 Hurricane Season
NCORR Releases Natural Hazards Resilience -
A Quick Start Guide for North Carolina Communities 

The North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency (NCORR) just published Natural Hazards Resilience: A Quick Start Guide for North Carolina Communities , a guide to help communities become stronger and better equipped to withstand the impacts of future natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods and wildfires, as well as the ongoing effects of climate change. Even during this current crisis, it is important to continue thinking about natural disasters that are certain to come in the future. 

The guide includes providing input to your region’s Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) and building a relationship with your Council of Governments as strategies to develop strong community connections that are critical for resilience. For questions about how UCPCOG is working to support regional resiliency during this current crisis and in the future or for questions about the CEDS, please contact Ron Townley or Ben Farmer.  

The NC Division of Emergency Management and the UNC School of Government have partnered to produce a tutorial series on the FEMA Public Assistance Program and FEMA reimbursement for the COVID-19 event (FEMA 4487-NC). The NCEM Public Assistance Tutorial Series provides helpful information on the FEMA reimbursement process and will be expanded on an ongoing basis as local governments and eligible nonprofits move through their recovery from the pandemic.The NCEM PA Tutorial Series is available at this link , and is also available the School of Government COVID-19 Emergency Management website.
HUD’s Distressed Cities Technical Assistance Program

If you work for a local government (tribe, city, town, village, county, etc.) that serves a small community, keep reading! This program may be able to directly benefit your local government operations and community.
The Distressed Cities Technical Assistance (DCTA) program supports small units of general local government (UGLGs) that are distressed and have recently been impacted by a natural disaster. Specifically, the DCTA program is designed to improve the fiscal health and administrative capacity of small UGLGs.

  • Learn More & Request TA: Visit the DCTA program page to learn more about how the DCTA program defines “small,” “distressed,” and “impacted by a natural disaster.” This page provides additional information about the program, including specific eligibility criteria, instructions for requesting assistance, and FAQs.

  • Access Resources: Visit the *new* DCTA Resources page to access a variety of resources relevant to small UGLGs, including webinars, tools, and funding opportunities. This page includes resources for responding to COVID-19. Note: You do not have to be a participant in the DCTA program to access these resources.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Launches Fund with Vistaprint to Support Small Business Recovery in Economically Vulnerable Communities

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, with founding partner Vistaprint, has launched the Save Small Business Fund , a grant program to provide assistance to small businesses owners impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Funded by contributions from corporate and philanthropic partners, the Foundation will distribute $5,000 grants to small employers in economically vulnerable communities in the United States and its territories. 

“Small business owners are facing unprecedented challenges. The needs are urgent and every dollar counts,” said Carolyn Cawley, president of the U.S. Chamber Foundation. “While the demand is great, we’re proud to be able to contribute to the many efforts underway to help small employers get through the next days and weeks and on the road to recovery for their communities.”  

The Save Small Business Fund is part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Save Small Business Initiative — a nationwide program to address small businesses’ immediate needs, mitigate closures and job losses, and mobilize support for long-term recovery. The Foundation is launching the fund with support from founding partner, Vistaprint, and additional donations from supporting partners, Merck, S&P Global Foundation, and Travelers.

“Small businesses are the soul of every community, and right now our communities are facing hardship,” says Vistaprint CEO Robert Keane. “I started Vistaprint out of my apartment 25 years ago and I know firsthand how hard it is for small business owners. I have been – and continue to be – amazed by their passion, resilience and ability to persevere through change. As a champion and marketing partner for small businesses, Vistaprint is there when the challenges hit, and we are doing all we can to help them stay in business. We are proud to be partnering with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to provide a lifeline during this time.”

Grant applications open on April 20, 2020. To qualify, applicants must employ between three and 20 people, be located in an economically vulnerable community, and have been harmed financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants will be awarded weekly on a rapid and rolling basis until all funds have been disbursed.

To learn more about the Save Small Business Fund or apply for a grant, visit .  
Economic Development Grant Opportunities

EDA invites applications for disaster and economic development grant opportunities

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) invites applicants to submit applications for several open programs. Under the Public Works program and Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) programs, EDA invites applications for construction or non-construction assistance projects that will advance job creation, job retention and private investment.
Additionally, EDA is currently accepting applications to support economic recovery in communities impacted by Hurricane Florence and Tropical Storm Michael.
In both opportunities, 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; port improvements; and other similar projects. Matching share funds are required. For Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Programs the match is generally 50 percent, while for the disaster supplemental funding the match required is 20 percent.
To learn more and to discuss potential projects, please contact Hillary Sherman at 404.730.3013 or . To access the funding notice and application forms, please go to:
Disaster Recovery Grant & Loan Programs to Help Local Governments

The state's Office of Recovery and Resiliency has opened another application period for grants and zero-interest loans made available for local governments still healing from recent years' hard storms. It follows an initial round of awards that totaled beyond $22.4 million for 22 local governments. “There are many counties, cities and towns that still need financial assistance as they work to recover from the devastating storms that have hit North Carolina,” Gov. Roy Cooper said in a press release. “We are committed to helping those communities rebuild smarter, stronger and more resilient so we can be better prepared for future storms.”
Application details are available at .
Contact Bridget Munger, NCORR, via EMAIL or via phone at 984-212-1052. 
Golden LEAF Scholarship COVID-19 Fund to Support Rural Students at Participating NC Community Colleges
At the April 2020 Board meeting, the Golden LEAF Foundation awarded $500,000 to the North Carolina Community College System to create a scholarship fund for North Carolina community college students affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Golden LEAF Scholarship COVID-19 Fund will serve community college students who live in  eligible rural counties  that are tobacco-dependent or economically distressed, demonstrate financial need, and have been affected by COVID-19, during the current academic year.
The scholarships are available to students now through June 2020. To access these funds, contact a  participating community college  financial aid office.
***  Learn More  ***
SAFER Grants

The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant Program provides financial assistance to help fire departments increase response capacity. SAFER provides grants to support the hiring of firefighters and the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters.

Eligible agencies include county governments, municipal governments fire departments, and national, state, local, or federally recognized tribal organizations representing the interests of volunteer firefighters.

The application deadline is May 15 . A local match is not required . However, applicants must develop a locally supported retention plan .

Click here for more information.
Planning and Development
UCPCOG and its Broadband Task Force Receive EDA Funding for Five-County Broadband Study


The Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments (UCPCOG) and its regional Broadband Task Force have received a $72,000 grant from the US Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration (EDA) to conduct a project with partners to better understand and address broadband challenges and opportunities for underserved communities in the Upper Coastal Plain five-county region.

UCPCOG Board of Directors Chairman and Broadband Task Force member Doug Hughes emphasized key issues that this broadband study seeks to address, “Broadband infrastructure is crucial to the overall economic health of a rural community in today’s technology-centered world and economy. Adequate connectivity is a critical component in attracting and retaining businesses and citizens. Without it, businesses, students, and residents of our region have less ability to work, play, and prosper in their hometowns.
North Carolina’s solar industry grew quickly thanks in part to the state’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS) and strong state policy and regulatory support. Now a leader in utility-scale solar, the future is bright for solar in the Tar Heel state for many years to come.
To Check out the latest Solar Industry facts for North Carolina:
160D Land Use Law Questions & Answers

UNC School of Government has posted a Chapter 160D Q&A document that compiles questions from many communities and offers clarification for Chapter 160D implementation. This resource is intended as a supplement to the other resources and may be updated as additional issues arise.
The Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) and the Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association (NEWMOA) bring you the latest in a series of joint webinars. This webinar will focus on the important topic of waste food – how to avoid it and opportunities for recovery.
The presenters represent ReFed and the Harvard University Food, Law & Policy Clinic. They will share the latest ideas and information on reducing wasted food and recovering and diverting what can't be reduced. Topics that will be covered include new tools and information from ReFED and on date labeling of food.

For more information, contact Lynn Rubinstein ( ), NERC, or Terri Goldberg ( ), NEWMOA.
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. 
WorkForce Development
Self employed, independent contractors can apply for unemployment

This will let people who don't typically pay the state's unemployment tax, and thus aren't usually eligible for benefits, draw down weekly payments backed by the federal government.
Includes basic to skilled job openings in Advanced Manufacturing and other industries

Includes basic to skilled job openings in Advanced Manufacturing and other industries
Pre-registration is now open!

To pre-register or to register during the event, go to:

 Job seekers have the option to upload a resume and/or an Introduction video when registering.

Have you met your local RAMP East Recruiter?
 Christina Harris, RAMP East recruiter
Region Q (Beaufort, Bertie, Hertford, Martin, Pitt);
Angie Jenkins, RAMP East recruiter
Turning Point (Edgecombe, Halifax, Nash, Northampton, Wilson);
"Some people dream of success, while other people get up every morning and make it happen"

Utah-based Focus Services LLC , a global innovator in customer contact solutions, will create up to 200 jobs at a new operations center in Tarboro, Commerce Secretary Anthony M. Copeland announced on April 22. The company’s plans, which includes a $1 million capital investment, mark a return of the telecommunications sector to Tarboro, onetime headquarters of Carolina Telephone & Telegraph.

“Today’s announcement by Focus fuels new energy and job growth for downtown Tarboro and brings additional diversification to Edgecombe County’s economy,” Secretary Copeland said. “Sustained, heightened demand for telephone and computer-based customer contact solutions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic is renewing opportunity for one of our state’s most storied rural downtowns.”

In this unprecedented time, we are all adjusting and adapting to fast paced changes and the “new normal.” In lieu of gathering in person for the annual conference, the NCPAAA will host a virtual yearly meeting and presentation on Wednesday, May 20, 2020 from 10:00 am -12:00 pm.
10:00 am - 11:30 am  We will be hearing from our keynote speaker, Talitha Guinn-Shaver, Elder Abuse Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) Technical Adviser for the Elder Justice Initiative (EJI) at the US Department of Justice. Guinn-Shaver’s experience with MDTs includes her prior role as Director of the Elder Abuse Prevention program at the Institute on Aging, where she served as the Director of the San Francisco Elder Abuse Forensic Center and chair of the San Francisco Elder Abuse MDT. She has also participated in other MDT models such as serving on the San Francisco Elder Death Review Team and The Hoarding and Cluttering Task force. She has also proudly served the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) working on elder abuse special projects. Supporting existing elder abuse case review MDTs and facilitating the expansion of the model, is the primary objective of the EJI MDT TAC.
11:30 am - 12:00 pm  North Carolina Partnership to Address Adult Abuse Annual Training and Meeting
Please visit our website, ; for more information.
This event requires registration. After you register, you'll receive a confirmation email message with instructions on how to join the event.
NC Partnership to Address Adult Abuse Annual Training & Meeting
Wednesday, May 20, 2020 10:00 am, Eastern Daylight Time (New York, GMT-04:00)
Host: Rhonda Narron (

Click link to register:
DA-NC Cares About Caregivers

Please join us in kicking off a new program to honor North Carolina professionals taking exceptional care of our loved
ones living with dementia.

Submit their information using the link below to have them recognized for going above and beyond and providing outstanding care in a home or in a healthcare setting.

Nominees must work in within the senior care industry, including adult day programs, assisted living, rest homes, family care homes, skilled nursing communities, hospice, home care, home health and senior centers. We ask that you share why the person is special and give us at least one example about how they have gone out of their way to care for seniors during the COVID-19 outbreak.

You may also submit a photo if you like.

Those selected will be shared on social media and all nominees will receive a certificate from Dementia Alliance recognizing them as a Noteworthy CAREgiver
Message from Heather

Dear Friends, 

As we have made it through almost 6 weeks of quarantine due to Covid-19, our staff and board remain committed as ever to our mission.  Although we have had to 'pivot' from in person support groups, meetings and conferences our foundation of bringing families impacted by dementia CARE -  Comfort, Assistance Resources and Education , remains the same. We have seen an uptick in calls from family caregivers who need our services and support now more than ever.  So we pivot, change and adapt , as many of our caregivers know how to do so well.  

·       We are continually developing  online content  to help everyone stay physically and mentally healthy. Content is available on our  blog  and new videos on our YouTube channel, available at . Topics include managing day to day during quarantine, handwashing and dementia, managing sick days,  activities to keep your loved one occupied connecting when your loved one is in a senior living facility  and more. 

·      Additionally, we are partnering with local artists and art institutions to bring everyone uplifting opportunities from the comfort and safety of the home. This ongoing series includes music and activities on Facebook Live and art engagement programs.  View All Resources Here

Most of all to our volunteers, donors and supporters, thank you! Thank you for your support, encouragement and donations during this time. Now more than ever, we need our Dementia Alliance community to continue our critical services for those impacted by dementia in North Carolina. 

With sincere gratitude,

Heather Hooper, Executive Director 

n4a Joins With Aging and Disability Advocates to Urge Guidance Against Health Care Rationing
n4a has joined dozens of aging, disability and patient advocacy groups on multiple letters led by the Alliance for Aging Research and other national aging and disability organizations calling on HHS to ensure that health care providers follow federal nondiscrimination laws when allocating scarce health care resources during COVID-19.
Four Webinars to Choose From:
NC Hearts Gigabit Interactive 2020

The annual NC Hearts Gigabit Interactive 2020 is now a virtual event series.
These past few weeks have shown the vital importance of digital inclusion for everyone. Please join the team at NC Broadband Matters, the Piedmont Triad Regional Council and Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments for relevant and actionable broadband planning content.

SESSION 1 : Broadband 101 Plus with the Piedmont Triad Regional Council
  • New data on the growing urban-rural broadband gap and the goals communities should have for broadband speeds, reliability, resiliency and price + more.
SESSION 2 : Broadband 101 Plus with the Upper Coastal Plain COG
  • Find a model that works for you: example case studies and business models from around the U.S. that will work under North Carolina laws + more.
SESSION 3 : Better Broadband with Better Data + the N.C. Context
  • Documenting need and impact to drive better decisions and attract partners; the best strategies and tools for collecting and communicating data in formats customized to target audiences; telehealth, the homework gap, and the N.C. policy context.

S ESSION 4 : Broadband Planning: From Vision to Action
  • Tying it all together: optimizing return on investment through integrated attention to access, adoption and use; attracting providers; best practices for assessing and addressing digital readiness and identifying grant funds.

Experienced broadband planners and strategists Deb Watts of Broadband Catalysts and Doug Dawson with CCG Consulting will lead the sessions with invited special guests.
All workshops are free to attend but registration is required. Join us!
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 2 pm until 3 pm .

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.
Forward Together: A Virtual Conference

You are invited to join Polco/National Research Center along with the International City/County Management Association, the National League of Cities, Engaging Local Government Leaders, and others for a virtual conference focusing on the future of local government in a post-COVID word. Discover and discuss essentials of good government now, into recovery, and beyond.

The virtual conference is set for May 12 and May 14 . Click here to register.
121 W. Nash St. Wilson, NC 27893