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 League Letter, March 7, 2017 

League Letter | Volume 38 | Issue 10

Wireless Technology Forum

Town Hall Day 2017 Registration Now Open

League Spring Tours Scheduled

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

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

U.S. Communities Contract with Amazon Business

In the News: Step into this hobbit-sized compound to glimpse Asheville’s artsy history

Job opportunities

Calendar

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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. Brought to you by the NC League of Municipalities, 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.  The forum will be held in three locations, Wilmington on March 17, Greensboro on March 20, and Charlotte on March 27. The forum will offer a free two-hour program followed by a reception with legislators from your area. Click here to register.

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.

League Spring Tours Scheduled

The N.C. League of Municipalities is traveling across North Carolina to help member cities and towns maximize their League membership, including accessing exclusive benefits offered by our insurance pools, one-on-one training opportunities, grassroots advocacy, grant funding programs, and more. These meetings will do more than simply tell you about NCLM and its benefits. They will include programming designed to inform and educate about the everyday challenges facing towns and cities all across North Carolina. With 13 events across the state from which to choose, we hope your municipality will participate in this opportunity to learn more about League programming that can benefit your government's employees and citizens. Click here to learn more and 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 three 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 14, 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.

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.

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.

In the News: Step into this hobbit-sized compound to glimpse Asheville’s artsy history

Tucked behind a looming modern wing of the Grove Park Inn is an easy-to-miss but enchanting collection of Arts and Crafts-era buildings that give you a different look into Asheville’s past. This hobbit-sized compound, called Grovewood Village, houses two free museums, artists’ studios, an art gallery, an upscale restaurant and an outdoor sculpture garden nestled among the pines. Click here to read this and other news.