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."

Are you curious about how many people in your town are responding to the 2020 Census?
As of May 24, 2020

National Self-Response- 60.1%
NC Self-Response- 56.4%
Bladen County - 41.8%
Bladenboro - 40.2%
Clarkton - 27.2%
Dublin - 10.5%
East Arcadia - 45.1%
Elizabethtown - 48.2%
Tar Heel - 17.1%
White Lake - 11.5%

Hoke County - 51.9%
Raeford - 53.9%

Richmond County - 47.4%
Dobbins Heights - 37.0%
Ellerbe - 22.6%
Hamlet - 49.0%
Hoffman - 40.1%
Norman - 13.9%
Rockingham - 51.2%
Robeson County - 43.6%
Fairmont - 49.0%
Lumber Bridge - 23.9%
Lumberton - 45.5%
Marietta - 37.3%
Maxton - 39.2%
McDonald - 54.8%
Orrum - 22.0%
Parkton - 33.2%
Pembroke - 32.0%
Proctorville - 27.4%
Red Springs - 45.7%
Rennert - 40.6%
Rowland - 25.4%
St. Pauls - 48.5%

Scotland County - 51.2%
Gibson - 33.6%
Laurinburg - 54.0%
Wagram - 34.9%
Announcements
North Carolina
Safer At Home Phase 2:
EASING RESTRICTIONS ON TRAVEL, BUSINESS OPERA TIO NS, AND MASS GATHERINGS
Count on Me NC
Count on Me NC provides free online training to protect customers and employees in Phase 2 and beyond
Calling for Health Professionals to Volunteer

North Carolina is recruiting volunteers and companies to supplement our health care workforce. Hundreds of people have already signed up to help, and we need more. This includes clinical providers such as doctors and nurses, clinical support such as pharmacy and imaging and respiratory care, and facility maintenance and administrative support. If you fit into one of these categories, go to   ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus   to learn more about how you can help. Health care professionals can also go to   terms.ncem.org/TRS/ .
COVID-19 Drinking Water Resources including Building Flushing Guidance

On May 5, Governor Cooper announced the implementation of Phase 1 of a three-phase approach to re-open the State. Phase 1 allows the opening of non-essential businesses and retail stores, which will likely include reopening buildings that have been completely shut down or that have been used on an infrequent basis. Under such conditions, degradation of water quality can occur where water has remained stagnant in pipes, tanks, appliances and other water-using features. Flushing to clear out the low quality water and replace it with higher quality water is an effective strategy to mitigate issues from stagnant water.  

To assist water systems, the Public Water Supply Section has created a website containing guidance for building flushing as well as other COVID-19 related resources.
NAVIGATING THE GREAT PAUSE
Moving from Pause to Reboot: What Lessons are we Learning and What's Next?

Thu, May 28, 2020
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT

Define what you need in order to start planning, and how to approach this next phase.
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 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.
Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released version 3.1 of its Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce. Version 3.1 provides clarity around many individual worker categories, including expanded language for those workers supporting at-risk communities and the essential nature of health facility workers in communities across the country. The revision also includes updated language to better reflect terminology used in food and agriculture industries, and includes other minor technical adjustments. Further, it addresses changes in the daily lives and routines driven by COVID, adding as essential those who enable telehealth and the availability and sale of goods and services to enable home schooling.
Budgeting in a Pandemic

How are local governments in North Carolina preparing fiscal year 2020-21 budgets in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic? Hear from local experts on how their communities are being impacted, how they believe their key revenue sources are likely to be effected next year, and how they are coping with the likely recession with budget strategies.
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Websites
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)
LOCAL GOVERNMENT RESOURCES
Resources
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
COVID-19 Rumors and Misinformation

This website is a curated collection of tools and materials that can guide and provide examples on how to understand, track, address rumors and misinformation around COVID-19.
NC Pandemic Recovery Office (NCPRO)

The North Carolina Pandemic Recovery Office (NCPRO) will oversee and coordinate the state’s fiscal response to the COVID-19 pandemic as we recover stronger, more resolved, and more resilient.

Additional Resources:



Public Assistance for COVID-19

FEMA Public Assistance funding is available for all eligible subrecipients throughout North Carolina who have incurred costs due to emergency measures and protective actions to reduce or eliminate the threat of COVID-19.
Funding Opportunities
USDA Announces Cooperative Agreements for Community Compost and Food Waste Reduction

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.
USDA Announces Grants for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the availability of $3 million for grants through its new Office of Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production. The competitive grants will support the development of urban agriculture and innovative production projects through two categories, Planning Projects and Implementation Projects. USDA will accept applications on Grants.gov until midnight July 6, 2020.
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.
Paycheck Protection Program

The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating in the program.
Golden LEAF receives $125M in funding to support NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program
Funding will provide loans to help small businesses suffering economic losses related to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program was launched on March 24 with an initial allocation of $15 million provided by Golden LEAF. Applications were quickly submitted well in excess of the available funding. Golden LEAF worked with the Office of Governor Roy Cooper and leadership of the North Carolina General Assembly to appropriate the additional funds to support this program and address identified demand. With this additional funding in place, applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
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
FY 2020 EDA Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Programs including CARES Act Funding
Suggested Reads
ICMA
Reopening Our Communities: Establishing a Recovery Team

Creating a task force, or a recovery team, of local government employees can help guide and inform how best to reopen your facilities.
Coates' Canons: NC Local Government Law 's blog for articles on interesting topics such as:
Kenan Insights
Decoding the Worst Quarter in Economic History

This month the full scale of the economic devastation from COVID-19 will become apparent as we start seeing more data from the second calendar quarter (Q2). However, understanding exactly what these data say about the full impact on households and businesses is going to be particularly challenging because unique aspects of the pandemic distort the data. So how do we take what we can learn from the data and use this knowledge to guide a restart, and eventual full recovery, of the economy?
This article looks at several recent data releases describing what happened to the U.S. economy in April, and helps make sense of what they say about how the economy has contracted to date.
The Policy Group
The Capital Report

This Week in Raleigh

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper (D) signed EO 141   this week easing restriction on travel, business operations, and mass gatherings known as Phase 2. As the state enters Phase 2, restaurants will be able to operate at 50% dine-in capacity with distancing and cleaning requirements, and personal care businesses, including salons and barbers, can operate at 50% capacity with distancing and cleaning requirements.
CONTACT US

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