Region a L News You
Can Use
 June 2019
Rural Planning Organizations of America Nominating Committee Convenes

On May 30, 2019 the Rural Planning Organizations of (RPO) America nominating committee met to nominate a slate of candidates for office. The nominating committee will present the slate to the RPO America membership during its business meeting on June 17, 2019 occurring at the National Regional Transportation Conference. RPO America is a program affiliate of NADO that serves as the national professional association for rural and small metro transportation planning professionals. 

The candidates for office nominated by the RPO America nominating committee include:

The nominating committee comprises individuals appointed by NADO President Scott Koons, North Central Florida Regional Planning Council, and RPO America Chair Tom Reinauer, Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission:

  • Peter Gregory, Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission (VT)
  • Sheldon Johnson, Northwest Regional Planning Commission (WI)
  • Amy Kessler, North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission
  • J. B. Mack, Southwest Region Planning Commission (NH)
  • Pat Steed, Central Florida Regional Planning Council

For more information on RPO America, visit .

NADO Partners with NACo, RCAP, Rural LISC, and the Farm Credit Council on the “TestIT” Mobile App

NADO has 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, and NADO. This group of partners is 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. Given that connectivity data is the foundation for investments in broadband infrastructure, the goal of this initiative is to identify areas without reliable connectivity, in order to help ensure that adequate funding for broadband infrastructure is provided to communities that lack sufficient connectivity.

You can download the app on your mobile device by going to the Apple/iOS app store or the Android app store and searching for the “TestIT” mobile app. More information is available here. Contact Mirielle Burgoyne at with questions.
Leaders Discuss Rural Needs in Rural Communities

ROCKY MOUNT — Government employees and leaders of community improvement associations from throughout the region gathered Wednesday to hear about legislative efforts to improve broadband, health care and small business resources in rural communities.

“There can be a bleak picture for what rural life is like with dilapidated houses, trailer parks, abandoned cars and people who’ve given up hope, but we know that is not the case,” said Miles Kirksey, engagement coordinator for the N.C. Rural Center. “We come to an area like Rocky Mount and we see everyone engaged in community improvement. There are stories of success, of innovation and of resiliency coming out of these communities. We want to unite these rural voices and let you guys know about resources that are available to you.”

The Rural Center covers 80 counties in North Carolina, and the most prevalent issues that are raised among local leaders are access to broadband, health care and resources for small businesses. Center Director of Advocacy John Coggin noted that addressing those three areas can make significant improvements to residents of rural North Carolina’s quality of life
Opportunity Zones

O pportunity Zones are census tracts generally composed of economically distressed communities that qualify for the Opportunity Zone program, according to criteria outlined in 2017’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Since the passage of the law, Opportunity Zones have been designated in all  50 states in the US, the District of Columbia, and five US possessions  (American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands). In fact, all of Puerto Rico falls into an Opportunity Zone.

Up to 25% of low-income neighborhoods that meet the income qualifications of the program (and up to 5% of non-low income tracts that meet other income and geographic requirements) in each state, district, or territory can be designated as Opportunity Zones. In states, territories, and districts with fewer than 100 census tracts, up to 25 census tracts can be designated as Opportunity Zones. Areas certified as Opportunity Zones retain their designation for ten years. More than  8,700 Qualified Opportunity Zones  have already been qualified in the US and US territories.

NCEast Alliance to host Sustainability in Manufacturing Event for Craft Brewers
In 2010 eastern North Carolina just had four craft breweries. Six years later that number had increased to 12. By 2018 the craft beer industry had exploded and there were 27 total breweries and today that number stands at 34. The craft beer industry has become important for the revitalization of downtowns in rural communities across the east…and it all started in the far eastern town of Manteo on the Outer Banks.

On Tuesday, June 18 from 1pm – 5pm the NCEast Alliance will host a Sustainability in Manufacturing: Brewing event at The Martinsborough in Greenville, NC. Registration will start at 1:00pm and the event will officially begin at 1:30 pm with a welcome by Dr. Tarek Adbel Salam, Director, ECU Center for Sustainable Energy and Environmental Engineering and keynote address on ‘The Way Forward: Sustainability as a Normal Business Practice’ by Mr. Michael S. Regan, Secretary of the NC Department of Environmental Quality. Special Guest Uli Bennewitz, founder/owner of The Weeping Radish, North Carolina’s first craft brewer will address the gathering on his journey toward creating a sustainable farm-to-table restaurant and brewery. The Event is supported by the North Carolina Brewer’s Guild and is free for Guild Members and $20 for Non-Guild members. Registration and tickets are available here.  

This latest in a series of workshops on how to improve sustainability in manufacturing is a partnership between East Carolina University’s Center for Sustainability in Energy and Environmental Engineering (supported by and EPA P2 Grant), the NC Department of Environmental Quality and the NCEast Alliance. The expectation for this event focused on breweries is to provide some advice on how brewers can elevate their sustainability practices.

“Additionally,” stated Trey Goodson, Director of Marketing and Communications for the NCEast Alliance, “we also hope to inspire interest in brewing for communities that do not currently have a brewery, but would be a perfect location for one, such as Jacksonville, Havelock, and Goldsboro.” Other communities that have individuals contemplating opening breweries such as Washington and Elizabeth City may also want to attend.

There will be an excellent lineup of speakers discussing sustainability practices such as recycling, waste reduction, and legal issues. Speakers include Jamie Ragan and Wendy Worley of NCDEQ will share information on various types of assistance brewers can access from the department and Ernie Swanson of Waste Reduction Partners will highlight services provide by his non-profit organization to help companies reduce waste and improve profitability. Attorneys Amy P. Wang and Derek J. Allen from Ward and Smith will be discussing legal and regulatory issues facing brewers. Sustainability and technical assistance to brewers will be discussed in a panel and the final topic will be the New Small Business Service Program from the SBTDC outlined by Alex Viva.

Following the event Billy Beer (Walstonburg, Greene County, NC) will be sponsoring an after party with food and drinks at Uptown Brewing Company. Billy Beer will be releasing a new Watermelon Tart beer at the event and there will be a raw bar prepared by Chef Lucas Owens. Beers from Uptown Brewing Company will be paired with food items from the raw bar. All participants are encouraged to attend the after party!
Training and Workshops
The  Leading for Results – LGFCU Fellows  program equips public officials with the tools needed to elevate their leadership potential. The two-week program, led by School of Government faculty member  Willow Jacobson , gives participants a tuition-free opportunity to enhance individual leadership strengths, discuss strategies for improving their organizations, and reinvigorate their passion for public service. 

Program attendees will not simply attend a “course,” but rather a cohort of local government professionals dedicated to cultivating strong leadership practices within themselves and their Fellows.

July 29-August 1|Chapel Hill
This introductory course is designed for economic development professionals employed by public, nonprofit, and private organizations and individuals new to the field. It is also appropriate for more experienced professionals seeking to update their knowledge and skills. The course is a comprehensive educational experience that integrates theoretical and practical perspectives and provides participants with the foundation needed to organize, plan, and implement economic development programs. Expert instructors will cover trends, strategies, and the core tools of the trade. The course is officially accredited by the International Economic Development Council and counts toward the CEcD certification.   

September 5-6|Chapel Hill
This two-day course provides a basic introduction to planning and development regulation offered annually in the fall.
This course is intended for planning and zoning staff, practitioners and staff in related areas, and interested citizen board members. For some staff members, this course alone may be sufficient, while for others, this will serve as the initial class in a multi-course curriculum. 

This course is a pre-requisite to the following courses: Zoning Practice, Subdivision Practice, and Zoning Officials Certification.

AARP to Host Online Rural Livability Workshop
On June 19-20, 2019 AARP will host a livestream presentation led by national and local experts on rural livability, with a focus on creating intergenerational communities, strengthening transportation options, improving housing affordability and choice, enhancing community infrastructure, facilitating broadband and economic development, and preparing for extreme weather and disasters. For more information and registration are available here .
Local Design Workshops – Apply by July 22, 2019

Want to bring rural design to your local community?

Creative Placemaking Jennifer Hughes announced today the opening of the 2019  Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design™   (CIRD) with a call for applications to the program. Since 1991, this National Endowment for the Arts program has offered funding and technical assistance to communities with populations of 50,000 or less to address local challenges related to economic vitality and quality of life through design solutions. The deadline for applications is July 22, 2019.

Read More and Apply
Upcoming Webinar to Explore How to Address Priorities for Water Systems
Drinking water systems exist to provide communities with safe, reliable water – a vital public service that needs to be accessible to all residents. It is crucial to ensure that water systems infrastructure remains in good condition over time, and that communities’ limited supplies of water are conserved and utilized in the most effective way possible. A free webinar from Water Finance Assistance on June 19, 2019 at 2 p.m. ET will explore four common priorities for water systems - appropriate revenue, promoting economic development, efficient customer use of water, and affordability. The webinar will also cover simple metrics that can be calculated for each priority area. Attendees will be able to replicate these calculations for their own systems easily. Registration information is available here
Webinar Recording Available for Recent Water Infrastructure Webinar Featuring NADO Members

The webinar recording is now available for the webinar “Connecting the Dots: Regional Development Organizations and Water Systems,” co-sponsored by the NADO Research Foundation and the Environmental Finance Center Network as part of the Smart Management for Small Water Systems program funded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

 The recording is available here .  
Grants /Funding

This  funding opportunity  aims to help states enhance outreach and develop statewide or local victim services hotlines. OVC has highlighted 10 focus areas, however, applicants are not limited to the areas provided in the grant announcement. Below are a sampling of the focus areas:  
·      Develop technology to enhance outreach to victims of crime, including automated notification systems.
·      Implement technology to establish or enhance statewide or local victim service hotlines that connect older victims with victim assistance and compensation resources and referrals.
·      Enhance the social media presence of state administering agencies and other victim service providers
Funding: OVC intends to make 5 awards of up to $440,000 each, with an estimated total of $2.2 million “for projects focused primarily on establishing or enhancing elder abuse or elder crime victim service hotlines.” The total amount of funds awarded “could be up to $6 million.” Awards are expected to have a 12 to 36 month period of performance beginning October 1, 2019. 
Applicants: State agencies that administer the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Formula Assistance and Compensation Program Grants (34 U.S.C. §§ 20102 and 20103(a) and (b)) or other organizations submitting an application in partnership with a state administering agency are eligible to apply.  

Timing: Applicants must register with prior to applying. Grant applications are due July 8, 2019. Interested organizations may join a pre application webinar on June 11, 2019 at 3pm eastern time.
Register for the webinar  here .  
Transforming America's Response to Elder Abuse: Enhanced Multidisciplinary Teams (E-MDTs) for Older Victims of Abuse and Financial Exploitation
This program will fund up to 15 new multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) and/or enhance existing MDTs, from rural, Tribal, local or state levels, as well as those operating within a Family Justice Center model. The inclusion of forensic accounting services and gero-psychiatrists on the E-MDTs to consult and collaboratively address the needs of victims of suspected elder abuse/financial exploitation, along with other unique enhancements is encouraged. In addition, the program will separately fund the development of a National MDT Training and Technical Assistance Institute for MDTs to ensure effective collaborative responses to elder abuse/financial exploitation that can result in improved case outcomes while minimizing the additional trauma and restoring safety and security to older adults. More Information here.
Neighborhood Revitalization
(NC Neighborhood) Program
The NC Department of Commerce/Rural Economic Development Division's Program, has just announced a funding opportunity to apply for the Neighborhood Revitalization Program Funding Program.
If your municipality is interested in this Funding opportunity, please contact Detra Purcell, CDBG Section Chief at 919-814-4754 or via email at for the application. Application intake is open now and ends July 16.
Federal Transit Administration Announces Bus and Bus Facility Funding Opportunity
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has announced the availability of $423 million of competitive grant funding through its Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program . Fixed route bus operators, state and local governmental entities that operate fixed route bus service, and Indian tribes are eligible to apply for projects involving the replacement and rehabilitation of buses and related facilities. Proposals are due June 21, 2019.
Federal Transit Administration Announces Funding Availability for Mobility Innovation
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has announced that $15 million in research funds is available to transit providers, state agencies, and federally recognized tribes through the Integrated Mobility Innovation Demonstration program. Applications are due August 6, 2019. For more information, view the funding announcement posted here .
Department of Transportation BUILD Grant Program Notice of Funding Opportunit y
A U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is available for its competitive grant program known as the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD, formerly known as TIGER). A total of $900 million was appropriated for this program in FY 2019. The application is currently available online at . The application deadline is July 15, 2019.
Senior Corner
Seniors are more often Targeted by Scammers

Financial scams targeting seniors have become so prevalent that they’re now considered “the crime of the 21st century.” Why? Because seniors are thought to have a significant amount of money sitting in their accounts.

Financial scams also often go unreported or can be difficult to prosecute, so they’re considered a “low-risk” crime. However, they’re devastating to many older adults and can leave them in a very vulnerable position with little time to recoup their losses.
It’s not just wealthy seniors who are targeted. Low-income older adults are also at risk of financial abuse. And it’s not always strangers who perpetrate these crimes. Over 90% of all reported  elder abuse  is committed by an older person’s own family members, most often their adult children, followed by grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and others.

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