LRCOG News & Updates
Our Mission
"In its dedication to regional excellence, the Lumber River Council of Governments is
proactive in identifying local and regional needs and the resources to address
those needs in an effective and fair manner."

The US Census Bureau has announced an additional delay of 2020 Census field operations until June 1 with data collection running through October. See the press release below. This announcement includes a request to Congress to relax data delivery dates for Apportionment and Redistricting to April and July of 2021. Keep an eye on the US Census Bureau Newsroom for updates.
Please Don’t Be Confused
 Census 2020 and Other Census Questionnaires

As we continue to urge everyone to complete their 2020 Census questionnaire, please be aware that there are several questionnaires being distributed by the Census Bureau at this time. A new one, Household Pulse Survey, is getting ready to be distributed. The following is a statement from the Census Bureau:
“As we all experience new challenges posed by spread of Coronavirus in the U.S., we understand that many American households are facing significant changes in their financial and economic circumstances. Many of us are also managing other challenges with keeping healthy, pursuing education, and other important social activities.
To better understand these experiences, the Census Bureau is inviting you to participate in a Household Pulse Survey. Your answers combined with those of households across the country can guide federal, state and community officials and policymakers in making decisions that support our nation’s communities in their recovery. While your participation is voluntary, it is important.”
This survey is a random sample of the population and will not be received by everyone. The invitation to participate will direct you to a link to complete the survey. The questionnaires targets information on food security, employment, health status, housing and income.

We encourage you to participate in all the Census questionnaires but please be certain that you complete the official 2020Census form at
Please contact Jan Maynor at or 910-618-2629 if you need help or have questions.
Opening Up America Again

President Trump has unveiled Guidelines for Opening Up America Again, a three-phased approach based on the advice of public health experts. These steps will help state and local officials when reopening their economies, getting people back to work, and continuing to protect American lives.
North Carolina
Staying Ahead of the Curve

Governor Extends Stay At Home Order Through May 8,
Plans Three Phase Lifting of Restrictions Based on Virus Trends
North Carolina's Emergency Response Recommendations COVID-19 Pandemic Immediate Needs

The country is facing a public health and economic emergency that is unprecedented in our time. This is a dynamic situation that is changing rapidly as government leaders at all levels work to ramp up testing and treatment capacity while also responding to the growing economic challenges facing North Carolinians. The state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic needs to be nimbler and more flexible than traditional weather-related disaster response efforts in the past. Creative solutions and quick action will be needed to solve new and emerging issues.
As of April 16, 2020, the federal government has signaled its intent to provide funding in three stimulus packages. The state has already received a little over $2 billion from the largest source of funds - the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF). This package anticipates using the CRF for the expenses recommended below, acknowledging the need to be flexible and adaptable as the US Treasury has not yet issued formal guidelines for these funds.

This Immediate COVID-19 Pandemic Response Package totals almost $700 million and is intended to meet budgetary needs through July 1, 2020 in three broad categories: (1) Immediate Public Health and Safety, (2) Continuity of Operations for Education and State Government Services; and (3) Small Business Assistance.
Senate Update- Paycheck Protection Program and Other Emergency Funding

The Disaster Recovery Journal is hosting the webinar “The Pandemic Response: Strategies for Long-term Recovery Planning in a Dynamic Environment” on May 6 at 2 p.m. ET . This webinar will focus on the development of your response strategy in this new age. It will cover the “Traditional Business Continuity Lifecycle” and compare it to a vision of a “Pandemic Response Lifecycle.” Click here to learn more and register.

The CDFA-ARI Rural Finance Webinar Series will continue on May 6 and July 8 CDFA has partnered with the Alliance for Rural Impact to develop this webinar series to serve rural America and the unique challenges they face. This webinar series will cover both the immediate development finance solutions that communities can implement to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 as well as the tools and resources being developed to rebuild. Click here to learn more and register.
Records Analysts Office Hour: Telework and RM for Local Governments

Tuesday, April 28, 2020
10:00 am - 11:00 am
Friday, May 1, 2020
10:00 am - 11:00 am
During this online "Office Hour," records analysts Courtney Bailey and Josh Hager from the State Archives of NC will answer questions about records management and teleworking. They will briefly cover best practices of managing public records while working remotely and resources that you might find useful. The remaining time will be spent answering questions.

In order to attend, you must complete an online form--registration is capped at 50 participants. A link to join the meeting will be emailed to you. This Office Hour is designed for local government employees and elected officials of North Carolina. Please contact Whitney Ray ( ) with questions.
Rural Talk: An Advocacy Speaker Series

Rural Talk: An Advocacy Speaker Series is a 5-part webinar series hosted by the NC Rural Center’s advocacy program, Rural Counts. Rural Talk brings together the voices, expertise, and perspectives from thought leaders at the national, state, and local levels, representing the public, nonprofit, private, and philanthropic sectors to discuss key issues affecting rural North Carolinian’s—broadband, entrepreneurship and small business development, health, housing and water and wastewater infrastructure.

Panels will take place every Thursday at 11 a.m. from May 7 through June 4. A moderator will ground each session in the latest data and research surrounding the issue, and expert panelists will then further speak to the issue, policy solutions, and local innovations. We recognize, too, that there exists a nexus between our Rural Talk topics and the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, and our panelists will address how these issues intersect. Each one-hour session will consist of a 45 minute discussion, followed by a Q&A period. 

Series Schedule:

Thursday, May 7: Rural Broadband- This panel session will focus on rural broadband, specifically issues related to accessibility, affordability, adoption and digital inclusion, and the impact of COVID-19.

Thursday, May 14: Rural Small Business Development- This panel session will focus on rural entrepreneurship and small business development, specifically issues related to access to capital, sector growth and support, the economic development ecosystem, and the impact of COVID-19.

Thursday, May 21: Rural Health- This panel session will focus on rural health, specifically regarding access to care, provider needs and shortages, social determinants and drivers, and the impact of

Thursday, May 28: Rural Housing- This panel session will focus on rural housing, specifically around the issues of affordability, accessibility, sector capacity building, and the impact of COVID-19.

Thursday, June 4: Rural Water and Wastewater Infrastructure- This panel session will focus on rural water and wastewater infrastructure, specifically regarding issues of fiscal and internal management, sustainability, and the impact of COVID-19.
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Get the latest information on COVID-19 in North Carolina
North Carolina Launches a Statewide COVID-19 Website
The state has launched a new website to serve as a portal for all COVID-19 across state government.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
World Health Organization (WHO)
NC  2-1-1
Get up to date information on COVID-19

NC 2-1-1 is an information and referral service provided by United Way of North Carolina. Accessible via an easy-to-remember, three-digit number, families and individuals can call to obtain free and confidential information on health and human services and resources within their community.
Text COVIDNC to 898-211 for announcements and updates
Dial 2-1-1 or 888-892-1162 Available 24 hours a day 7 days a week
ICMA's Upcoming Webinars on COVID-19 Response and More
Employment Law and COVID-19
Date: Friday, May 1 | 2:30 – 4:00 p.m. ET
Fiscal Strategies During a Pandemic
Date: Friday, May 8 | 2:30 – 4:00 p.m. ET
Access previous webinars on ICMA's Coronavirus website.
NACo Resources for Counties
FTA CARES Act Apportionments and FAQs

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law on March 27, 2020, makes available $25 billion in funding for public transportation operations, maintenance, capital, and administrative expenses. $2.2 billion of the total funding is focused on rural transit and the federal share is up to 100 percent at the discretion of the recipient. Funds are available until expended. Visit FTA’s CARES Act page for Section 5307, Section 5311, and Section 5311C apportionments and FAQs about eligible expenses.  
Funding Opportunities
Searchable Guide to COVID-19 Federal Funding Resources Available from Alchemy Community Transformations

An interactive guide to help rural communities navigate the various federal funding resources included within the CARES Act is now available from Alchemy Community Transformations . This guide can be searched by topic, applicant type, cost-share requirements, or funding type. This interactive tool to help you navigate federal funding resources is available here , and other resources from Alchemy Community Transformations are available here.
SBA Disaster Assistance in Response to the Coronavirus

The SBA has approved the North Carolina Governor’s request for a disaster declaration, and you may begin the application process. Eligible applicants may now apply for economic injury disaster loans (EIDLs) as a result of the ongoing effects of COVID-19.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury and Federal Reserve Board Announce New and Expanded Lending Programs to Provide Up To $2.3 Trillion in Financing : On Thursday, April 9, Treasury launched a Main Street Business Lending program and a Municipal Liquidity Facility to support the flow of credit to American workers, businesses, states, counties, and cities impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The Municipal Liquidity Facility (MLF) will provide up to $500 billion in direct financing to states, counties, and cities to help ensure they have the funds necessary to provide essential services to citizens and respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
Golden LEAF deploys $15 million in funding to launch NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program
Funding will provide loans to help small businesses suffering economic losses related to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Golden LEAF Foundation announces $15 million in funding to launch a rapid recovery loan program in response to economic losses related to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Golden LEAF funding will support the NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program by enabling loans to be made to eligible businesses for up to $50,000 with zero interest and no payments for six months. If not repaid in six months, the loan will automatically convert to a term loan.
FEMA Public Assistance Program

All North Carolina local governments and certain nonprofits are eligible to apply to the FEMA Public Assistance Program for FEMA reimbursement to assist with emergency expenses related to responding to COVID-19.  The NC Division of Emergency Management and the UNC School of Government have partnered to produce an on-demand applicant briefing webinar that gives instructions on how to register for FEMA reimbursement, information on general reimbursement eligibility of COVID-19 expenses, tips on documenting expenses, and COVID-19 federal procurement requirements.

A link to the free on-demand applicant briefing webinar, a pdf of the briefing presentation slides, and a summary of the FEMA Public Assistance program is available at both websites below:  

The first step toward applying for FEMA reimbursement of eligible COVID-19 expenses is to register your organization in the FEMA Grants Portal .  

All local governments and nonprofits (incorporated as a 501(c), (d), or (e) in the state are encouraged to register in the FEMA Grants Portal. Even if your organization is not certain whether you have COVID-19 expenses that are eligible for FEMA reimbursement, you are encouraged to register - you cannot apply for FEMA reimbursement without being registered in the Grants Portal and completing a few simple registration forms. This very simple registration process is explained in the on-demand briefing webinar. 

Law Enforcement COVID-19 Grant

Known as the Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding (CESF) Program, local law enforcement must still file the paperwork to receive the funding. Applications are being processed within 7-10 days in order to get the funding out quickly.

The CESF funding is designed to assist eligible states, units of local government, and tribes in preventing, preparing for, and responding to the coronavirus. The funding is very flexible as long as it related to COVID-19 response. For example, allowable projects and purchases include, but are not limited to, overtime, equipment (including law enforcement and medical personal protective equipment), hiring, supplies (such as gloves, masks, sanitizer), training, travel expenses (particularly related to the distribution of resources to the most impacted areas), and addressing the medical needs of inmates and others in state, local, and tribal prisons, jails, and detention centers. Recipients of CESF grant awards have latitude in awarding sub-grants that will help in preventing, preparing for, and responding to COVID-19, but states are not required to limit their pool of sub-recipients to criminal justice agencies.
Applications are accepted up to May 29, 2020, but, again, they are being approved on a rolling basis, so applying sooner rather than later is recommended.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Announces $10 Million in FY20 Funding Availability for Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention Grant Programs
Suggested Reads
FEMA announces release of $100 million in supplemental Emergency Management Performance Grants (EMPG) to assist in the local response to COVID-19
Furloughing Employees During the COVID-19 Crisis
By Diane Juffras
To slow the spread of COVID-19, to comply with Governor Cooper’s stay-at-home order , and to deal with budget stresses, many local governments are considering furloughs. A furlough occurs when one or more employees are put into a temporary leave without pay status during which they are instructed not to perform any work. There are no federal or state laws that govern when and how local government employers may furlough employees. There are, however, common issues that every North Carolina local government must address when it furloughs employees. This blog post discusses those issues using a question and answer format.
Visit Coates' Canons: NC Local Government Law 's blog for additional articles on interesting topics such as:
FEMA Approves North Carolina Request to Stand Up Shelters That Follow Social Distance Guidelines

Lumber River Council of Governments | Phone: 910-618-5533 | Fax: 910-521-7556