September 2020 Newsletter
September Highlights
Here is what you'll find in this month's newsletter:

  • AAA CARES Act Funding Update
  • Caregiver Vouchers
  • Senior Games & Senior Center Update
  • Regional Aging Advisory Council
  • Long Term Care Residents & Voting
  • The Caregiver's Cup
  • New Staff Member Mary Lynn Baldwin
  • Essential Single-Family Rehabilitation Loan Pool Program
  • Ongoing Regional Planning
  • Exciting News for Henderson
  • Statewide Trail Network Plan
  • Rural Placemaking Innovation Challenge
  • Sustainable Fleet Technology Virtual Conference
  • State Transportation Board Update
  • KTRPO TAC/TCC Meeting Update
  • Unemployment Benefits Alert
  • Workforce Success Stories
  • Census 2020 Update
  • KTCOG on Facebook
  • Special Recognition
  • Child Care Hotline for School Age Children
  • COVID-19 Testing Costs for Uninsured
  • Join Our Staff
Mark Your Calendar!
  • Next Workforce Development Virtual Board Meeting:
  • Tuesday, September 1, 6:00-8:00 pm
  • Next COG Virtual Board Meeting:
  • Thursday, September 24 @ 7:30 pm
  • Next TAC/TCC Virtual Meeting:
  • Thursday, October 22, 3:00-5:00 pm
Area Agency on Aging
AAA Recipient of CARES Act Funding
The Aging Department has been very busy with COVID-19 Emergency Declaration Disaster Relief funding, coordinating plans and procedures with the Division of Aging and Adult Services, other AAAs and our local providers. We have identified needs and priorities in our counties and are working to support our regions' residents during this difficult time. Our Aging Assistant has been setting up systems for our CARES resources to insure that we have a successful year with funds well spent. We have hired a specialist to coordinate CARES referral requests. The AAA is available to help with a variety of needs during the pandemic such as meals, groceries, cleaning supplies, face coverings, incontinence supplies, assistive technologies, caregiver respite vouchers, emergency home repair (must be COVID-related) and more.

The CARES funding has allowed KTAAA to provide frozen meals to a Section 8 senior community in Henderson. We are pleased to be integrating our services into the larger community. We are also providing Family Caregiver support through CARES funding, including increased respite vouchers, home care supplies, and robotic pets. Ten robotic pets were distributed to appropriate participants, and follow ups are regularly being made.
Caregiver Directed Vouchers
Are you a caregiver in need of a break or a little extra help? Respite care enables caregivers to be temporarily relieved from their caregiving responsibilities. Caregiver Respite Vouchers are available. To see if you quality, contact Harvey Holmes at 252-436-2040 or
Senior Games & Senior Center Update
The Senior Games are being conducted virtually this year. All participants were disappointed the games couldn't be in person, but they adapted. Region K has participants in athletic events and in Silver Arts.

KTAAA continues to support the senior center providers in their important work with our region's older adults. While the centers are not currently conducting on-site activities, some are offering outdoor exercise classes, and all are providing food and other necessities. They are distributing hot meals on a daily basis to the participants who had been attending the daily congregate lunch, either via drive-by pick up at the senior centers, or via home delivery. The centers regularly include activity books, newsletters and other outreach materials in their lunch deliveries. Participants receive regular check-in phone calls from volunteers and staff. While they miss their visits to the senior centers, all are grateful for the ongoing connections.
Regional Aging Advisory Council
KTAAA staff have successfully conducted another quarterly virtual meeting with the Regional Aging Advisory Council. Over 20 representatives participated in regional updates and reports, including several new members. In a bit of outstanding news, providers have fed thousands of older adults since the pandemic began, and continue in their outreach work with their participants via emails, phone calls, and home deliveries.
Regional Ombudsman Program
The Coronavirus pandemic has changed every aspect of daily life. It is no different with the role of Advocates in Long Term Care. In lieu of the routine in-person visits, Kim Hawkins, Regional Ombudsman, is using a variety of virtual and contactless techniques to remain connected with the residents. She has conducted telephone and email reassurance check-ups with a limited number of residents and some of the administrative staff at the homes, as well as contacting the program volunteers. Kim has conducted virtual facility visits and contactless drop-off projects on current topics relevant to the residents. AAA staff have assisted with these ongoing projects.
Long Term Care Residents & Voting
Currently, the Ombudsman program staff is distributing information to all of the residents at each LTC facility on voting and how this would work for them. This includes information regarding absentee ballots, curbside voting, and that each resident has a right to vote based on their own ability or capacity. They have also included a fact sheet of information just for administrative staff, outlining their responsibility to assist the residents with voting.
Activity Boxes in Long Term Care Facilities
In July, the Ombudsman staff provided "Activity Boxes" to each facility to support their activity programs. Each box included information that could be used as helpful resources (Medicare, resident rights, scams, family caregiver, elder abuse), as well as items that staff could use, such as prizes for Bingo. At a majority of the homes, each resident was provided with a cloth mask and hand sanitizer. Several homes thanked us for remembering their residents and staff during the pandemic. One facility, Franklin Oaks Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Louisburg used the coloring books in the box to make coloring packets for each resident. The Activities Director then conducted a coloring contest for the residents. The Ombudsman staff is glad to help address concerns of fatigue and isolation among the residents and staff and offer some encouragement during a challenging time.
The Caregiver's Cup
The Caregiver's Cup will meet on Friday, September 18 at 12:00 pm at Sadie's Coffee Corner in Henderson. If you are a caregiver, we welcome you to join us for our next meeting! In this social group, you will have the opportunity to connect with other caregivers, learn tips, and share ideas to help you in your caregiving journey. For information on how to join, contact Harvey Holmes at 252-436-2040 or at
New Staff Member: Mary Lynn Baldwin
Mary Lynn Baldwin has joined the Kerr-Tar AAA as the CARES Program Specialist. Referral agency requests for CARES support will be routed through Mary Lynn at 252-436-2040, extension 2036. The AAA is available to help with a variety of needs during the pandemic such as meals, groceries, cleaning supplies, face coverings, incontinence supplies, assistive technologies, caregiver respite vouchers, emergency home repair (must be COVID-related) and more. Call Mary Lynn with any questions!
Stay Tuned!
Stay tuned to WIZS in Henderson for a few special episodes of Town Talk during the months of September and October. Dates, topics, and speakers are being scheduled at this time, but keep an ear out for more details! You can find WIZS on 100.1 FM and 1450 AM.
Essential Single-Family Rehabilitation Loan Pool Program for Vance & Person Counties
The Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments (“COG”) has been granted Membership by the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (“NCHFA”) under the 2020 cycle of the Essential Single-Family Rehabilitation Loan Pool Program (“ESFRLP2020”). This program provides Members with funds via a “loan pool” to assist with the essential and critical repairs to single-family homes that are owned and occupied by lower-income households (less than 80% area median income) with one or more older adults (age 62+), disabled or Veteran fulltime household members and/or a child under the age of 6 who is at risk of identified lead hazards in the home.

As an ESFRLP2020 Member, the COG has been allocated an initial set-aside of $190,000 for Vance County as well as $190,000 for Person County, which it plans to apply toward the rehabilitation of five or more houses within the County of Vance or Person and/or any of its municipalities. After the demonstrated successful use of the initial set-aside, the COG may access additional funds, depending on availability, on a unit-by-unit basis from the ESFRLP2020 loan pool.

The major requirements to be eligible for ESFRLP2020 assistance are: 
  1. The home must be located in Vance County/Person County.
  2. The home must be owner-occupied. Ownership is defined as having an executed Deed of Trust giving fee simple or 99-year leasehold interest. Rental units are not eligible.
  3. Site built and off frame modular units will be eligible for consideration. Manufactured housing is not eligible for assistance.
  4. The house must have a full-time household member who is an older adult (age 62+), disabled or a Veteran or a household with a child under the age of six whose health is threatened by the presence of lead hazards.
  5. The gross annual household income must not exceed 80% of the area median income for Vance County.
  6. The property cannot have been repaired or rehabilitated with public funding of $30,000 or more within the past 10 years.
  7. The cost of rehabilitation cannot exceed the ESFRLP2020 Program Guideline limit of $30,000.  

Applications available by calling Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments at 252-436-2040 or on the Kerr-Tar COG website at

Homeowners must return: 
1) Their application for the property requested to be rehabilitated, 
2) A copy of the deed for said property, and 
3) Income documentation for all members of the household.  

Applications should be returned as soon as possible, but no later than November 2nd at noon to the Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments, PO Box 709, Henderson, NC 27536 or to 1724 Graham Avenue, Henderson.

All activities under ESFRLP2020, including rating and ranking applications, inviting bids, selecting contractors and resolving complaints, will be conducted in a fair, open and non-discriminatory manner, entirely without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status and disability.

Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments is an equal opportunity employer and service provider. Women, minorities, and underutilized businesses are invited to apply for contracts utilizing NCHFA Funding. Assistance or special aids for the handicapped or disabled are available upon request.
Urgent Repair Program
The Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments (COG) has been awarded $200,000 by the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA) under the 2020 cycle of the Urgent Repair Program to assist residents in the counties of Franklin, Granville, Person, Vance and Warren. The Urgent Repair program finances emergency home repairs for homeowners who are elderly or have special needs and whose incomes are below 50% of the median for the area.  Only repairs that address imminent threats to the life and/or safety of occupants of the dwelling unit or accessibility modifications will be performed under the program.  A total of 18 households are projected to be assisted.

In the Urgent Repair Program, one or two critical problems may be repaired, but the entire house is not addressed. Examples of work typically done under this program include roof or HVAC system repairs, well or septic system repairs, adding accessibility features like ramps, bathroom grab bars, and wider doors.

The COG will provide assistance to those whose homes are selected for repairs in the form of a loan. Homeowners will receive an unsecured deferred, interest-free loan, forgiven at a rate of $2,000 per year until the principal balance is reduced to zero.  The maximum amount of the loan available is $10,000.

Applications are available starting September 1, 2020 and must be returned to the COG office by 5:00 pm on November 1, 2020. Clients to be assisted will be selected by January 1, 2021.     

The application and program information are available on the Kerr-Tar Regional COG website at or by calling 252-436-2040. The funds provided by the NCHFA for the Urgent Repair Program come from the North Carolina Housing Trust Fund.
Planning & Development
Ongoing Regional Projects
KTRPO Staff continue to work on a Pedestrian Plan for the Town of Norlina and begin work on an update to the Bicycle and Pedestrian Plans for the City of Oxford. KTRPO staff will provide updates on the plans as they progress.
Henderson named a North Carolina Main Street Community
Last month, the N.C. Main Street and Rural Planning Center selected the City of Henderson as a "N.C. Main Street Community." The Main Street designation gives the city much needed recognition along with tools and resources needed to revitalize downtown. This designation will provide Henderson access to technical assistance and place the City in a position to apply for additional grants through the N.C. Department of Commerce. Henderson was one of three cities selected to receive this designation.
Public Input Needed on Statewide Trail Network Plan
As people across North Carolina are using greenways and trails in record numbers, their input is needed to develop the Great Trails State Plan. The Great Trails State Plan is a Department of Transportation-led effort to identify existing trails and define what actions need to take place to connect those trails statewide in all 100 N.C. Counties. The plan builds upon local and regional trails to identify one overall trail network that is focused on connections to state parks and populated areas. The public can provide feedback by taking an interactive map survey and a 10-question survey. Participants are encouraged to take both surveys. The deadline to complete the surveys is September 30, 2020.
USDA Rural Placemaking Innovation Challenge
USDA Rural Development has announced the Rural Placemaking Innovation Challenge (RPIC) initiative to provide planning support and technical assistance to foster placemaking activities in rural communities. Funds will help enhance capacity for broadband access; preserve cultural and historic structures; and support the development of transportation, housing, and recreational spaces.

USDA is making $1 million in grants available. The maximum grant award is $250,000. Public or private groups, organizations, or institutions that demonstrate experience and expertise in providing placemaking planning support and technical assistance to rural communities are eligible to apply. Applicants must demonstrate the existing and proposed partnerships with public, private, philanthropic, and community partners to provide assistance. The deadline to apply is September 10, 2020. To learn more, CLICK HERE.
Sustainable Fleet Technology Virtual Conference
Discover the latest and greatest in sustainable fleet technology, operations, and implementations at the 4th Annual Sustainable Fleet Technology Virtual Conference. The 2020 Conference will now be a series of webinar sessions on a variety of topics highlighting the leading edge of sustainable fleet practices and alternative fuel opportunities.

Each session, covering current technologies in the fleet industry, will feature several expert speakers from all around the country. Sessions will discuss the latest and greatest opportunities for biofuel, electric, natural gas, and propane fuels and fueling, with a strong focus on data-driven decisions, tools, and technologies. All webinar sessions will be offered free of charge. Save the dates and register below by clicking on the sessions you are interested in attending.

Valerie D. Jordan Reappointed to State Transportation Board
Raleigh resident Valerie D. Jordan has been reappointed as a member of the N.C. Board of Transportation. Jordan was reappointed by Governor Roy Cooper and will continue to represent Division 5, which is comprised of Durham, Franklin, Granville, Person, Vance, Wake, and Warren counties. She originally joined the Board of Transportation in 2017. Jordan will work with the N.C. Department of Transportation staff to make decisions about transportation policies and priorities. She serves with 19 other individuals from across the state who represent each of NCDOT’s 14 geographical highway divisions and six areas of statewide interest. The governor appoints members representing the 14 highway divisions, while the speaker of the N.C. House and the N.C. Senate President Pro-Tempore each appoint three at-large members. Jordan is the owner and lead consultant of Hunter J Group, LLC. She brings more than 20 years of experience in development, account services, and project management to the Board of Transportation. Jordan previously worked as the US Services Renewals Manager at Cisco Systems in Research Triangle Park. A native of Warren County and long-time resident of Raleigh, Jordan is a graduate of North Carolina Central University and earned a master’s degree in Business Administration from the Keller Graduate School of Management. Jordan also serves on the Governor's Advisory Council on Historically Utilized Businesses and the GoTriangle Board of Trustees.
Photo courtesy of NCDOT
Kerr-Tar COG Receives NADO Impact Award
The NADO Impact Awards program honors NADO members for their creative approaches to advancing regional economic development and improved quality of life. These projects have made significant impacts on their regions and demonstrate the diversity of services and program delivery provided by regional development organizations across the country. The 2020 class of awardees consists of 79 projects from 48 organizations spanning 19 states, with Kerr-Tar COG being one of the recipients for the Focus 20/20 Regional Economic Development Summit. Congratulations go out to everyone who was a part of this Summit!
KTRPO TAC/TCC Meeting Update
The next KTRPO TAC/TCC meeting will be held on Thursday, October 22nd, from 3:00-5:00 pm via Zoom. Members will receive more information as the meeting date approaches.

*Please note, meeting dates are subject to change in order to accommodate NCDOT deadlines.
Last month, the KTRPO submitted 21 projects across various modes to the NCDOT for consideration under the Department's Prioritization 6.0.
Workforce Development
NCWorks Success Story: Jennifer Shepard
Ms. Jennifer Shepard came to NCWorks seeking assistance with training. She met with her career advisor to discuss furthering her education to become a Nurses' Aide. She was working as a home health aide but desired a higher wage in order to care for her child. Ms. Shepard was found to be eligible for the WIOA program as an adult. She completed all required assessments and was eligible to start training at Vance Granville Community College in March of 2020. As part of her training she was required to partake in the Working Smart class, which she successfully completed on February 19th. The next step was to begin nurses' aide training. However, due to coronavirus the class was put on hold, with no idea of when it would begin. Even though she was not able to further her education due to unforeseen reasons, she was not going to let this deter her, as she continued to look for further options, including employment. Ms. Shepard expressed to her career advisor that she did not feel strongly about her interviewing skills. She was able to attend a virtual interviewing skills workshop, which gave her the confidence she needed to begin her job search. In May of 2020, the Career Center began weekly virtual hiring events with the company Nugget Comfort. Her advisor thought Ms. Shepard would be a great candidate for this company. Her resume was submitted to the hiring manager and in June, Ms. Shepard was invited to the work site for an interview. We are excited to report that she was offered the job and will start the beginning of September making $15.00 an hour.
Looking for a job - Check out 
NCWorks Success Story: Matthew Varker
Matthew Varker enrolled in WIOA Program at Vance-Granville Community College in February 2018 to receive his High School Equivalency Diploma, which he earned in April 2018. Determined to continue his education, Matthew enrolled in the Associate Arts Program at Vance-Granville Community College in August 2018 to obtain his Associate's Degree. He has been involved in many school activities and is a member of the drama club, where he has participated in many drama productions. Matthew received a Presidential Scholar Award in October 2019 and was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. He's also a member of the Male Achievement Academy. Matthew participated in work experience where he worked as a call center/front desk assistant at VGCC. He was able to achieve each of his goals and received an excellent performance evaluation. All of these achievements, as well as his work experience provided Matthew with increased confidence and the opportunity for growth.
In Other News...
Census 2020 Update
The 2020 Census is at a critical point. North Carolina is severely under counted with only a few weeks left. Rural areas are especially behind. North Carolina--the 4th fastest growing and 9th largest--will lose $7.4 billion in funding with our current count. The consequences of that will be felt far into the future. This isn't abstract money--these are tax dollars, already paid and collected. If we these funds aren't claimed through a proper count, it will go elsewhere.

This will be felt most locally, in your hometowns (roads, schools, emergency services, veterans services, senior care, early education programs, parks, infrastructure, economic development, and on and on. Imagine where North Carolina can be in 10 years with that additional, much-earned $7.4 billion. Imagine where North Carolina will be without it.

The U.S. Census Bureau announced it will end all field data collections on September 30, 2020. All residents are encouraged to complete their census questionnaires.

Phone: 844-330-2020

According to the Census Bureau, Kerr-Tar's counties and the State of North Carolina have the following reported self-response rates as of August 24, 2020:
  • Franklin County: 59%
  • Granville County: 65.2%
  • Person County: 63.6%
  • Vance County: 54.1%
  • Warren County: 45%
  • North Carolina: 60.2%
  • United States: 64.4%
We have a Facebook Page!
Beth Davis, our Regional Engagement Specialist has created a KTCOG Facebook Page. We invite you all to like this page and share any posts that you think might benefit your network. The best kind of advertising is word of mouth, and Facebook is kind of like the digital version. We welcome any and all feedback regarding the content of this page because we want it to be relevant information. Check it out HERE.

You can also find Kerr-Tar Area Agency on Aging on Facebook as well. Check them out HERE.
Special Recognition!
It's true that 2020 has been a remarkable year in so many ways, and the time has come to recognize the remarkable efforts of our community leaders with the Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments Annual Awards. While this year's annual banquet will look quite a bit different, the 2019-2020 year, more than any other year, cast a spotlight on the dedication and commitment of the team in Region K.

In order to recognize those outstanding leaders, the 2019-2020 Awards nomination forms are linked below. The form is now an online, fillable document to make it even easier for you to respond. You will also find a link with the nomination criteria for each category as well as a list of former winners for your reference.

Please take a moment to think about the contributions and hard work of those around you, and nominate one of your fellow leaders for their efforts.
Completed nominations are due September 4, 2020.

Child Care Hotline Extended for School-Age Children
North Carolina families in need of childcare can call the child care hotline 1-888-600-1685 to be connected with child care options in their communities for school-age children up to age 12. The hotline is open Monday-Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Liscensed child care professionals meeting the NCDHHS health and safety guidelines are available to provide care through this service. For more information about child care during COVID-19, CLICK HERE.

If you're interested in distributing this flyer to your audience, CLICK HERE. You can also find the Spanish version HERE.
NC Medicaid Covers COVID-19 Testing Costs for Uninsured
Effective September 1, 2020, NC Medicaid will begin reimbursing COVID-19 testing costs for uninsured individuals enrolled in the NC Medicaid Optional COVID-19 Testing (MCV) program. To be eligible, you must:

  • Live in North Carolina
  • Be a US Citizen or US National or have eligible immigration status
  • Not be covered by Medicaid, Medicare or other health insurance

A simple online application for the MCV program will be available in September, and individuals will be able to apply using the internet or mobile device. Until the online application is ready, we encourage Medicaid-enrolled providers who perform COVID-19 testing to download paper applications, available in English & Spanish, and collect them for mailing to the Medicaid address on the form. Paper applications are estimated to take 2-6 weeks for processing. CLICK HERE to learn more.
Join Our Growing Staff!
The Kerr-Tar COG has several openings that we would love to fill! If you or someone you know would be a great candidate, have the CLICK HERE for more details on each position. Currently, we have open positions for:

Open for Business Loan
Many small and local businesses in the Kerr-Tar Region have been negatively affected by COVID-19. In an effort to provide support to those businesses, the Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments is rolling out the Open for Business Loan Program. This loan program is designed to help small to medium size businesses recover from the economic effects of this pandemic.  

The Open for Business Loan is a non-forgivable interest free loan, ranging from $10,000-$100,000. Eligible borrowers are small to medium size (1-99 employees) businesses who have been in business for at least 12 months and must be located in Franklin, Granville, Person, Vance or Warren counties. Documentation providing evidence of a loss of revenue since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic is required. All loans will require a personal guarantee and additional collateral. Funds can only be used for working capital and/or equipment and require an application fee of $200. Standard loan terms of 5 to 10 years. To apply, visit and click on the “Open for Business Loan” tab.  

The Open for Business Loan Program is locally administered, funded by the US Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration with funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.  Applications are available on the Kerr-Tar COG website at or by calling Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments at 252-436-2040. Applications should be completed as soon as possible as funding is limited.
Communities Served:

Franklin County
Granville County
Person County
Vance County
Warren County
Town of Bunn
Town of Butner
City of Creedmoor
Town of Franklinton
City of Henderson
Town of Kittrell
Town of Louisburg
Town of Macon
Town of Middleburg
Town of Norlina
City of Oxford
City of Roxboro
Town of Stem
Town of Stovall
Town of Warrenton
Town of Youngsville
Executive Director
Diane Cox

Planning & Development
Michael Kelly

Interim Workforce Development
Lou Grillo

Area Agency on Aging
Mission Statement
Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments aims to
promote regionalism that provides opportunities for
local governments to enhance and improve the quality
of life for our citizens through effective delivery of
services and programs.
Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments
Contact Info:
252-436-2055 fax

Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 709
Henderson, NC 27536