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 League Letter, February 14, 2017 

League Letter | Volume 38 | Issue 7

EP 18 of Municipal Equation: The Smart Cities Primer

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service Grants

Town Hall Day 2017 Registration Now Open

U.S. Communities Contract with Amazon Business

2017 International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Coaching Program Webinar Series

Water Collaborative Survey

Symposium: The Future of Banking in Rural North Carolina

Community Development Block Grants Disaster Recovery-Housing Workshop

2018 Recreational Trails Program Grant Cycle

Industrial Control Systems Cyber Training

Eastern Disaster Relief Funding Updates

Meeting Procedures for Local Governments

Strategic Planning for Elected Officials

Media Relations for Elected Officials

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Regional Conservation Partnership Program

Alumni Association of Municipal and County Administration (AAMCA) Annual Update Seminar

Division of Water Infrastructure Announces Available Funding for spring 2017

Application Period for Hazard Mitigation Program Open

In the News: Town of Belville to break ground on site of new town hall

Job opportunities

Calendar

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EP 18 of Municipal Equation: The Smart Cities Primer

It's okay to admit you're not fully up to speed on "smart cities" or the "Internet of Things (IoT)." The talk is so ubiquitous that it might feel like a runaway topic that's tough to break into. Or maybe you're from a small town and think smart-cities and IoT are more of a big-city conversation. But it concerns just about everybody, everywhere. So what does it really mean? As initiatives and projects multiply in the focus of smart cities and IoT -- and while the federal government is actively soliciting comment on a new plan to collaborate with local communities toward smart-city enhancements -- this episode explains the who-what-when-where-why to get us all up on the essentials. Click here to give it a listen.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service Grants

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announces the availability of $27 million in grants to fund innovative projects designed to strengthen market opportunities for local and regional food producers and businesses. The Local Food Promotion Program offers grant funds with a 25% match to support the development and expansion of local and regional food business enterprises to increase domestic consumption of, and access to, locally and regionally produced agricultural products, and to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets. The purpose of the Farmers Market Promotion Program is to increase domestic consumption of, and access to, locally and regionally produced agricultural products, and to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets by developing, improving, expanding, and providing outreach, training, and technical assistance to, or assisting in the development, improvement, and expansion of, domestic farmers markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture programs, agritourism activities, and other direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities. The Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program provides matching funds to State Departments of Agriculture, State agricultural experiment stations, and other appropriate State agencies to assist in exploring new market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products, and to encourage research and innovation aimed at improving the efficiency and performance of the marketing system. AMS will host a webinar for potential Farmers Market Promotion Program and Local Food Promotion Program grant applicants on Wednesday, February 15, 2017, at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time, and a teleconference for potential Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program grant applicants on Thursday, February 16, 2017, at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time.  Click here for webinar details and registration. Grant applications close March 27, 2017. Click here for more information.

Town Hall Day 2017 Registration Now Open

Town Hall Day is the League's premier opportunity for members to visit legislators and make their views known. Each legislative session, hundreds of elected and appointed city officials gather in Raleigh for an entire day of grassroots lobbying. Town Hall Day is a prime opportunity to show strength in numbers and draw attention to the many serious legislative issues facing your cities and towns. This year, Town Hall Day will be Wednesday, March 29. Find details and register here.

U.S. Communities Contract with Amazon Business

League-endorsed vendor U.S. Communities is excited to announce a new contract for an online marketplace with Amazon Business. Registered participants of the U.S. Communities program can now utilize the Amazon Business Marketplace. Amazon Business has been awarded an exclusive multi-year contract through a competitive solicitation process and detailed evaluation conducted by lead public agency, Prince William County Public Schools, Virginia. The contract term is for five years to January 18, 2022, with the option to renew for three additional two-year periods. To learn more about this new contract, register for a complimentary 30-minute webinar.

2017 International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Coaching Program Webinar Series

The ICMA has announced their 2017 webinar series which consists of six live sessions spotlighting best practices on key topics from local government professionals throughout the U.S. The first webinar is about attracting and retaining a dynamic workforce and is scheduled for March 29 from 1:00-2:30 p.m. EST.  Click here to learn more about the series and here to register for the March 29 webinar.

Water Collaborative Survey

The North Carolina Source Water Collaborative (NCSWC) is a statewide partnership of non-profit organizations, university programs, state, local and federal agencies, professional associations, and regional councils of government that works to protect drinking water through non-regulatory approaches. The NCSWC is developing resources to assist public and elected officials in protecting and preserving their drinking water sources and would like your guidance. Please take a few minutes to fill out this survey to ensure these resources are helpful and relevant to your work.  

Symposium: The Future of Banking in Rural North Carolina

“What happens when the last bank leaves town? Faced with changing economies, demographics and banking technology how do rural communities face the challenge of having financial services for their residents and businesses? The Future of Banking in Rural North Carolina symposium will be held on February 16 from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at The Rural Center in Raleigh. Speakers include the Federal Reserve Bank, the FDIC, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Consumer Bankers Association. The cost is $100.00 and scholarships are available. Click here to learn more and register.

Community Development Block Grants Disaster Recovery-Housing Workshop

The League will host a Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) Disaster Recovery-Housing workshop on Thursday, February 23rd from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. It will be in Greenville at the Willis Building located on ECU’s campus. The workshop is for elected officials and key staff from cities and towns located in the Hurricane Matthew/Presidentially-declared impacted areas. Participants will gain a basic understanding of the CDBG Disaster Recovery program rules and regulations, especially as they relate to housing and housing-related activities. Participants will also hear from State officials about proposed CDBG Disaster Recovery timelines and processes. Registration will run through February 16th. If you have any questions about the workshop, please contact Vickie Miller at 919-715-8835 or vmiller@nclm.org

2018 Recreational Trails Program Grant Cycle

The 2018 grant cycle for the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is now open. The RTP is a federal grant program authorized by Congress with the intent of helping fund trails and trail-related recreational needs at the State level. At the State level, the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DNCR) has assigned that responsibility to the Division of Parks and Recreation and its NC Trails Program. The North Carolina Trails Committee is a seven-member advisory committee who will review all applications and make recommendations for funding with the Secretary of DNCR having final approval authority for North Carolina. The Grant Application – Form A will be available until Friday, February 24, 2017. Click here to access the application.

Industrial Control Systems Cyber Training

Cyber-security issues (cybercrime, cyber vandalism and cyberwarfare) and their impact on water and wastewater systems is an ever growing and evolving threat that requires constant vigilance. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of infrastructure Protection (DHS-OIP) have arranged for cyber-security training for Industrial Control Systems (ICS, not to be confused with NIMS Incident Command System). This training is scheduled for February 27- March 2, 2017 and will take place at Wake Technical Community College, 9101 Fayetteville Rd, Raleigh, NC 27603 in the Student Services Conference Center. Training will be delivered by the Idaho National Laboratory- Industrial Control System-Computer Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) and is specifically designed for personnel who are responsible for the oversight, design and operation of control systems to include but not limited to; operators, engineers, IT personnel, supervisors and managers. Registration is required and more information can be found here. If you have questions or concerns, please call (919) 996-3489 or contact Robert.mielish@hq.dhs.gov or Darryl.aspey@hq.dhs.gov, the North Carolina based DHS staff who arranged this opportunity.

Eastern Disaster Relief Funding Updates

The NC Association of County Commissioners and NC League of Municipalities are again partnering to hold free information sessions across the state where local government leaders will get an update from Dan Gerlach, President of the Golden LEAF Foundation, on the status of the grant application process for Eastern Disaster Relief Funding and what to expect in the coming months. This is your opportunity to ask questions about the process and get prepared for next steps. There will be three more sessions in all from February 16-17. Click here to see dates and to register.

Meeting Procedures for Local Governments

Join UNC School of Government faculty member Trey Allen as discusses rules of procedure for local government boards, paying special attention to common procedural problems. This event will be held Friday, February 24, 2017 at the WCU at Biltmore Park, Asheville, NC. For information, contact LGTP director Rebecca Scott at (828) 227-3442 or rdscott@wcu.edu or click here to register.

Strategic Planning for Elected Officials

This one-day interactive workshop offered by the UNC School of Government provides local elected officials an opportunity to walk through a strategic cycle of planning, implementation, and evaluation. Participants will identify how components of planning and evaluation link together, clarify roles and responsibilities for each step in the process, and begin outlining what they would like to accomplish in their own planning, performance measurement, budgeting, and evaluation processes. There are two locations and dates for this workshop: Greenville, NC – March 10, 2017 and Asheville, NC – March 24, 2017. Click here to learn more.

Media Relations for Elected Officials

Understanding the basics of media relations is essential before even the most simple press interaction, especially when it comes to making sure you get your message across. Master the skills to compose an effective message and compile a plan to advance that message using earned media tactics such as print, radio, TV and social media. This course offered by the UNC School of Government on March 15, will give you a much better idea of what it feels like to interact with the media, you’ll have take-away points to help you use the media to get your message out. Click here to learn more.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Regional Conservation Partnership Program

Through this fourth Regional Conservation Partnership Program Announcement for Program Funding, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will award up to $252 million dollars to locally driven, public-private partnerships that improve the nation’s water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat and protect agricultural viability. Applicants must match or exceed the federal award with private or local funds. The NRCS national office will host multiple webinars about the pre-application and full project application processes. Pre-applications are due April 21, 2017. Click here for details.

Alumni Association of Municipal and County Administration (AAMCA) Annual Update Seminar

Save the date now for the Annual Update Seminar for graduates of the Municipal and County Administration Course at the UNC School of Government in Chapel Hill on Thursday, April 27 and Friday, April 28, 2017. The seminar topic will be “To Open or Not to Open….That’s the Question: A Key to Better Transparency.” Click here to register.

Division of Water Infrastructure Announces Available Funding for spring 2017

The Division of Water Infrastructure in the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality has announced the spring 2017 funding round and related application training. Funding offered this round will include a portion of the Connect NC bond program and all applications must be received by the division no later than close of business on April 28, 2017. Application training for the following funding programs will be offered in late February and early March in Asheville, Salisbury, Kinston, and Raleigh. Space is limited at each location, so please RSVP to Jennifer Haynie at jennifer.haynie@ncdenr.gov (919.707.9173) at least a week prior to the training event you plan to attend. Click here for more information on the application.

Application Period for Hazard Mitigation Program Open

The N.C. Emergency Management application period for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program is now open. With the catastrophic impact of Hurricane Matthew on North Carolina, the state expects to see the largest HMGP offered since Hurricane Floyd. N.C. Emergency Management is accepting Letters of Interest for possible inclusion in the state’s HMGP submission to FEMA. Eligible applicants are local governments with a FEMA and NCEM approved and adopted Hazard Mitigation Plan. The deadline for receiving the letters is May 1, 2017. A separate goal of March 31, 2017, has been set for receiving letters for an expedited grant process for communities facing a more pressing resilient housing need. Communities will have to develop a process for gathering documentation and application for community residents, but technical assistance and additional help can be provided. Questions regarding the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, technical assistance with applicant intake or eligibility can be directed to Nick Burk, Hazard Mitigation Grants Section Manager, at 919-825-2301, or Sharon Winstead, Hazard Mitigation Supervisor, at 919-825-2356.

In the News: Town of Belville to break ground on site of new town hall

The Town of Belville is expected to break ground today to kick off the start of construction for the Belville Municipal Facility. A number of state and local officials will be at the groundbreaking to take part in the formal shovel-turning event. “Our dream of having a town hall that everyone in the region can enjoy has become a reality,” said Mayor Mike Allen.  “We would like to invite the residents of our community to the ceremony to help celebrate the long-awaited start of construction on our municipal facility.” Click here to read this and other news.