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 League Letter, March 14, 2017 

League Letter | Volume 38 | Issue 11 

Municipal Equation EP 20: Sister City Stories

Town Hall Day Pre-Registration Ends This Friday - Register Now!

Webinar: The State of Rates in NC

Wireless Technology Forum 

Attend the League’s Spring Meetings for Insurance Information, Member Services Updates

2017 Regional Master Municipal Clerks Academies

Strategic Planning for Elected Officials

Information Sessions for NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center's Downtown Associate Community Program

Media Relations for Elected Officials

Small Scale Real Estate Development Workshop

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

N.C. Division of Coastal Management Grants

Manager Evaluation and Board Assessment Program

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

Division of Water Infrastructure Announces Available Funding for spring 2017

Application Period for Hazard Mitigation Program Open

In the News: Mooresville Commissioners pave way for East-West Connector

Job opportunities

Calendar

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Municipal Equation EP 20: Sister City Stories

No doubt you've heard of sister cities. You probably even have a vague idea, at least, of the concept. Perhaps your town has a sister city in a far-off country. But do you know the origin of sister cities? How the concept took off? And what it's evolved to? And that it's greased the track for huge business relationships? And probably even saved lives? It's fascinating when you dig in. Click here to learn more.

Town Hall Day Pre-Registration Ends This Friday - Register Now!

There are only 4 days left to pre-register for this year’s Town Hall Day, March 29th in Raleigh! Registration ends this Friday, March 17 at midnight . Town Hall Day is the best place to advocate for cities and towns and share the League’s member-driven municipal advocacy goals. This year, the League wants to have our biggest crowd yet – Town Hall Day is a show of strength and solidarity, and it is especially important this session when there are quite of few of our issues up for debate. Join your fellow elected and appointed municipal officials and help us maximize our presence this year! Just like in previous years, we have confirmed state government officials for the afternoon sessions and the evening reception will be a perfect opportunity to network with legislators and colleagues. Make sure your voice is heard and your community is represented at Town Hall Day – click here register now!

Webinar: The State Rates in NC

The Environmental Finance Center (EFC) at the UNC School of Government and the NC League of Municipalities have completed a survey of over 440 utilities’ water and wastewater rates. In this webinar, scheduled for March 16, from 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EDT, the EFC will present on the State of Rates in North Carolina, sharing insights into rate structure designs, prices, practices, and financial performance of utilities. This free webinar is geared towards anyone who works for or works with a water and/or wastewater utility in North Carolina (particularly small water systems) in a financial management capacity, including utility managers, finance directors, town/county managers, council/governing board members, mayors, funders, regulators, technical assistance providers, consultants, etc. Utility/finance/town managers of small water systems are especially encouraged to attend. Click here to register.

Wireless Technology Forums

It’s not too late to register for one of the League’s free upcoming wireless technology forums! All over the country, municipalities big and small are taking steps to make their city operations smarter, faster and more efficient. Join local officials from across your region for a two-hour forum to learn about wireless technologies that can help achieve those aims. You’ll hear from industry and government experts on public safety initiatives such as FirstNet, good government practices such as the Internet of Things and smart cities, and next-generation wireless capabilities enabled by small-cell technologies. Register now to attend an event in either Wilmington (March 17), Greensboro (March 20), or Charlotte (March 27). 

Attend the League’s Spring Meetings for Insurance Information, Member Services Updates

In the past, you may have attended two separate Spring Meetings related to the League’s member services – one for insurance and one for general League activities, advocacy, etc. This year, we are streamlining our efforts to offer you a more efficient option --  attend the Spring Meeting closest to you to learn about insurance renewals for the health, workers’ compensation and property and liability insurance pools; legislative and grassroots advocacy efforts; risk control training opportunities; strategic planning efforts; and other important member services.

We want to make sure municipal officials and staff members are getting the most from your League membership. Join us at one of the breakfast, lunch, or dinner meetings to hear about:

  • Insurance renewal information and rates from the League’s Health Benefits Trust, Workers’ Compensation Trust, and Property and Liability Trust
  • Exclusive risk control training and programs from our insurance pools to help save your city or town money and protect your resources
  • Legislative updates related to our member-driven municipal advocacy goals
  • Advocacy and grassroots efforts and events available to League members
  • Legal consulting services
  • HR consulting services
  • And more!  

These meetings are perfect for Mayors, Council Members, Managers, HR Directors, Finance Officers, Risk Managers and other municipal employees – we look forward to seeing your city or town staff members on the Spring Tour. Click here to find the meeting closest to you and to register.

2017 Regional Master Municipal Clerks Academies

The UNC School of Government, in cooperation with the North Carolina League of Municipalities (NCLM) and the North Carolina Association of Municipal Clerks (NCAMC), is pleased to announce the schedule for this year's Regional Master Municipal Clerks Academies. The academies will take place on March 24 at Leland, March 31 at Wilson, April 21 at Cramerton, and April 28 at High Point. Each academy will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 4:00 p.m. and will include the following sessions: Street Smarts; Spreading the Joy: Limits on Multiple Office-Holding; Financing Capital Projects 101; and Clerk Trivia. Click here to register for on of the academies.

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. This workshop will be held in Asheville, NC on March 24, 2017. Click here to register.

Information Sessions for NC Main Street & Rural Planning Center's Downtown Associate Community Program

The North Carolina Main Street and Rural Planning Center is offering two more opportunities across the state for municipalities to attend an information session about the Downtown Associate Community program and the application process. It is mandatory for any municipality that intends to apply to attend one of the sessions. The dates, times and locations are: March 28 and March 29. Interested communities should send at least two representatives to the workshop, including a municipal representative and a private sector downtown representative. Applications will be distributed by email following the workshop. To register for the workshop, e-mail Naomi Riley, naomi.riley@nccommerce.com, NC Main Street Coordinator of Downtown Services, with the words “NCMS Workshop Registration” in the subject line.

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.

Small Scale Real Estate Development Workshop

Make plans now to attend the Small Scale Real Estate Development Workshop which is a day-long session designed to introduce the principles and implementation mechanisms behind neighborhood based development projects. The full day workshop held in Greensboro, NC on March 16 offers specialized training about how to create small residential, commercial, or mixed-use projects, and assumes you know a lot about where you live, but not necessarily much about the real estate process or building development. The workshop is sponsored by the Incremental Development Alliance (IDA), a national non-profit that works to build local wealth in neighborhoods through ground-up real estate development, and hosted by the City of Greensboro. It will feature IDA faculty members Monte Anderson and Matthew Petty. For questions or additional information, contact Reggie Delahanty at 336-373-4624. Click here to register.

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. Grant applications close March 27, 2017. Click here for more information.

N.C. Division of Coastal Management Grants

The N.C. Division of Coastal Management recently announced the availability of $100,000 in grants to local governments in 20 coastal counties for projects during fiscal year 2017-2018. Grant funding will be prioritized for natural hazards and storm recovery projects. Proposals for projects not related to the natural hazards and storm recovery topics may be submitted for non-prioritized funding consideration. The maximum request is $20,000. The deadline for submission is March 31. Click here for more information on how to apply.

Manager Evaluation and Board Assessment Program

The UNC School of Government is offering their Manager Evaluation and Board Assessment Program on April 7 in Chapel Hill. Boards and managers work interdependently in leading and governing their communities. To work together successfully, both parties must have clear and common expectations about their respective roles and how they will be held accountable. Regular, constructive feedback is important to ensure that both parties do their part to meet community expectations. Participants who complete this program will learn how to develop a successful evaluation process and how to avoid the pitfalls common with board self-assessments and manager evaluations. Click here for more information.

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.

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: Mooresville Commissioners pave way for East-West Connector

Mooresville is one step closer to making the East-West connector between Langtree Road and N.C. 115 a reality, with town commissioners on Monday amending the zoning ordinance regarding the East-West Connector Overlay District. The connector overlay, which was discussed at length during a joint planning board and town board meeting on Jan. 9, would “back end” development caps, aiming to manage traffic capacity, ensure the connector road is built, and “help ensure growth happens with proper planning,” said Director of Planning and Community Development Rawls Howard. Click here to read this and other news.