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 League Letter, October 25, 2016 

League Letter | Volume 37 | Issue 43 

Ep. 10 of Municipal Equation: The Science of Trees in Cities

Death & Taxes: The Increasing Difficulty in Financing Cities

Correction: US Communities Purchasing Program for Disaster Response

NLC Leadership Positions and Application Available

2016 Regional Board Workshops for Planning and Development Regulation

Sustainable City Network Webinar

Performance Management 201

Data to Knowledge: Community Development for Place-Based Projects

Positive Problem Solving

Budgeting in Local Government

FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program

Nominations Now Being Accepted for Source Water Protection Awards

In the News: Greensboro Ranks Third in Affordability Among Large NC Cities

Job opportunities

Calendar

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Ep. 10 of Municipal Equation: The Science of Trees in Cities

We enter a better kind of urban jungle on this episode all about the science and economics of trees in cities -- way more interesting than you might think at first. Yep, there's a big economic argument for more trees in our cityscapes. Our guests here apply scientifically backed dollars-and-cents appraisals to the trees that line our streets or green our downtowns. Give it a listen here.

Death & Taxes: The Increasing Difficulty in Financing Cities

Chris Nida, Director of Research and Policy Analysis for the League, recently wrote a guest blog post for the UNC School of Government’s blog Death & Taxes. He focused on the increase of urban population growth and the demand for municipal services like clean water, good roads, responsive police and fire departments, timely trash pickup, and reliable public transit and some of the limited options municipalities have to fund all these services. Read about it here.

US Communities Purchasing Program

As reported in the October 11th League Letter, US Communities Purchasing Program recently stated that purchases and rentals by local governments through the program and associated suppliers would meet FEMA purchasing requirements. That does not appear to be the case. According to the UNC School of Government, FEMA is taking the position that U.S. Communities does not meet its requirements and that local governments may put their reimbursements at risk when they utilize the program for disaster response. U.S. Communities is trying to resolve the issue, and the League will update members on any developments.

NLC Federal Advocacy Committee Application Available

Serving in an NLC leadership position or getting engaged through one of NLC’s member councils or federal advocacy committees is one of the most rewarding ways for you as a municipal leader to bring your expertise to the service of cities and towns at the national level. Now is the time to submit applications if you'd like to serve on the seven Federal Advocacy Committees. The application deadline for the Federal Advocacy Committee membership is November 23. If interested in applying, please email Paul Meyer, Executive Director of NCLM.

2016 Regional Board Workshops for Planning and Development Regulation

What are the rules for land subdivision in North Carolina? Which divisions are regulated and which are exempt? What’s the legal review process? And can the government really require the developer to dedicate land? Join the UNC School of Government for a half-day Subdivision Workshop this fall to get answers to these and other questions about land subdivision. The workshop will be offered in four locations across the state thru November 16. Click here to learn more.

Sustainable City Network Webinar

Sustainable City Network will host a free 1-hour webinar on Oct. 27 beginning at 2 p.m. EST featuring Raleigh’s Sustainability Manager Megan Anderson and her colleagues as they explain how they are doing their best to grow responsibly by being a leader in alternative fuels, electric vehicle charging stations, LED streetlights, energy analytics in city buildings, renewable energy and more. Register for the webinar here.

Performance Management 201

Once your local government has its performance measures, then what? How can measures be used to help improve the quality and efficiency of services? What tactics have proven successful? This UNC School of Government workshop held October 28, in Chapel Hill is designed for city and county managers, department heads, and other local government officials who have previously completed Performance Measurement 101 or another introductory performance measurement class. Click here for more information.

Data to Knowledge: Community Development for Place-Based Projects

Data to Knowledge is a one day symposium sponsored by North Carolina Community Development Association that will bring together community developers and geographic information professionals to discuss data needs for use in place based community projects throughout North Carolina. This event will be held at the Goodwill Industries in Winston-Salem on November 4, from 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM. Click here to register for the event.

Positive Problem Solving

Too often, we approach challenging situations as deficits—not enough of this, no resources for that. We can make situations worse by viewing them only as problems and overlooking opportunities present. This one-day course held November 4, in Winston-Salem uses common public sector scenarios to introduce you to the ideas behind Appreciative Inquiry. You will learn to notice and elicit positive emotions that, in turn, allow you to build on the assets you have rather than those that are missing. Click here to register.

Budgeting in Local Government

Make plans today to attend this Budgeting in Local Government course November 8-11, in Chapel Hill. This course fulfills one of the core requirements for the Local Government Finance Officers Certification Program. Perfect for city and county managers, finance officers and staff, budget administrators and analysts, and others who have responsibilities for annual budget preparation will benefit from this course. Click here to learn more.

FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program

FEMA announced the annual funding opportunity for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG). The Fiscal Year 2016 AFG program will award $310.5 million to enhance the safety of the public and firefighters against fire-related deaths and hazards. Since 2002, FEMA has awarded $6.8 billion in fire grants to more than 62,300 recipients. Historically, 84 percent of awards go towards purchasing personal protective equipment, vehicles, and other operational equipment. The application period is open through November 18, 2016. The grant guidance is posted at www.grants.gov and here. Applicants who need additional information may contact firegrants@fema.gov or call 866-274-0960.

Nominations Now Being Accepted for Source Water Protection Awards

Source Water Protection Award nominations are being sought for candidates that demonstrate innovative and collaborative solutions to protect North Carolina’s drinking water and the watersheds that support it. The six award categories include: Planning (surface water), Planning (groundwater), Implementation (surface water), Implementation (groundwater), Education and Leadership. Nominations are due by December 1st and award winners will be announced at the 2017 North Carolina Water Resources Annual Symposium in association with the Water Resource Research Institute Conference. Applications and additional information, including award criteria, are now available here or by contacting Rebecca Sadosky at 919-707-9096 or Rebecca.Sadosky@ncdenr.gov.

In the News: Greensboro Ranks Third in Affordability Among Large NC Cities

Among the five largest cities in North Carolina, Greensboro ranks in the middle when it comes to a homeowner’s costs for property taxes and fees for city services, according to the City of Greensboro Budget and Evaluation Department’s annual comparison of property tax rates and major user fees. Click here to read more about this and other stories in the news this week.