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League Bulletin

October 21, 2016

It's time! We're heading right into CityVision 2016, the League's annual conference Oct. 23-25, an event like no other for cities and towns across the state. Have you downloaded the helpful, companion app yet? Get it! Just type "NCLM events" into the app search on your smart-device for the download. 

It's your simple, go-to resource for all things CityVision, no matter where you are.


You can tap through the conference's general info, schedule, list of speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, social media activity and a map to help you navigate.


CityVision 2016 features engaging programming designed to help elected and appointed municipal officials learn the latest on ways to improve their cities and towns. Held in Raleigh this year, the conference will also offer a great opportunity for municipal officials from around the state to network and share best practices. The conference will focus on how to implement Vision 2030, the League's outward-facing visioning process, and the six operating principles developed from that process. Doing so will better position the League to help member cities and towns achieve their vision of what their communities should be by 2030.

It's also where members elect officers and make any constitutional or bylaw changes. We encourage you to join with fellow municipal officials from around the state and attend CityVision 2016! Don't miss this opportunity to better prepare for the challenges that lie ahead for all North Carolina cities and towns. Pre-registration has closed, but you can still join during the conference at a walk-in rate. Click here for more details.

Visit to donate

As officials expect a protracted need for post-Hurricane Matthew relief, the League is partnering with the N.C. Association of Feed America Food Banks to raise funds for impacted North Carolinians. Visit to donate toward our initial fundraising goal of $10,000. Donations can be made via PayPal account or with a debit or credit card. "Cities and towns in eastern North Carolina are combating major flood damage and are working with state and federal authorities to begin the recovery process as soon as possible," says the website. "While long-term recovery plans are being put in place, there are immediate needs that many still have in the wake of Hurricane Matthew." The League will spread word about this relief effort at the upcoming CityVision 2016. Please tell your colleagues about this. Thank you for your consideration. In the meantime, the League continues to offer its best. Local governments may visit the League's for resources.

Gov. Pat McCrory provided a statewide recovery update on Wednesday and emphasized that it'll take time. But he said the state now has a plan of short- and long-term actions to rebuild.  The governor signed an executive order to establish a special hurricane recovery committee led by Thomas Stith, his chief of staff, to carry the plan out. In an address about the effort, Gov. McCrory quoted Princeville Mayor Bobbie Jones, whose town was essentially submerged by the Tar River, as saying: "Things will get better. We've lost material possessions. But we still have the desire to move forward, and we have our belief and faith in God." McCrory followed with: "This is the best of North Carolina, mayor." Click here to read more.

The state's Historically Underutilized Business Office is partnering with N.C. Emergency Management and the Department of Transportation for an event meant to "provide contractor and vendor resources that are ready, willing and able to assist with all recovery and clean-up efforts," according a flyer. The event is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 26, 1-2 p.m., in the North Carolina Museum of History auditorium, 5 E. Edenton St., Raleigh. Representatives from those agencies along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Small Business and Technology Development Center will be on hand to discuss needs and contracting opportunities. Anyone interested in attending should RSVP to Carla Daniels by 5 p.m., Oct. 25, at or (919) 807-2332.

Other ways to help:

  •, where anyone can donate funds for relief
  • text NCRECOVERS to 30306 for donations
  •, the website of the N.C. Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, which lists varies other ways that people can contribute money or volunteer time.

Officials say monetary donations remain the best way to help, as they keep aid alive for survivors, remain within the community when donated to local organizations, and don't require the level of processing that can come with donations of food or clothing.

Hometowns across the state are already on the map with Here We Grow, the League's energetic, new campaign promoting the economic development strides of municipalities. Have you joined yet? This week, just minutes after a Town of Midland employee requested a login to, he submitted a story and photo explaining how the growing town of roughly 3,200 residents recently leveraged area assets to land a manufacturing facility that is investing an initial $49 million there and plans to pay workers well above the Cabarrus County average. "Midland has experienced a 17.8% growth in tax base over the last three years, and is on track to best that with an expected 21% growth in tax base over the next three," the town reported on the Here We Grow website. Midland joined Salisbury, Burlington, Hickory, Kannapolis, Greensboro, Mooresville and other North Carolina municipalities that have posted their economic development stories.

In Hickory, where the public and private sectors have teamed to revive inactive locations, "Properties like the former Piedmont Wagon, Moretz Mill, Simmons Hosiery, Hollar Hosiery, and Lyerly Mill sites have resulted in public/private partnerships that led to property restoration, preservation of Hickory’s history, and millions of dollars invested into Hickory’s future," the town posted at In Goldsboro, the creation of a downtown and neighborhood master plan along with city investments have brought about a booming downtown business scene. "Since planning for the first block in 2010, 49 new businesses opened in downtown," the city wrote. "There have also been 23 new owner/investors in downtown commercial buildings, with rehabilitation projects either completed or underway and valued at $3.8 million -- taking place in the last two years. With that momentum, the city has been able to win some additional state grants, all of which makes for a great and revitalized downtown."

Want to see more stories like this? Want to add yours? Visit and send an email to with "Login" in the subject line. If you're with one of our municipalities, we'll send you a username and password to access the site. We want to bring attention to your successes. To remind, the idea behind Here We Grow is simple: When each of us does better, we all do better. Besides the story-telling components of the site, a site toolkit will allow you to:

  • Download a customizable PowerPoint presentation that both promotes the campaign and highlights your city or town’s efforts.
  • Download a flyer that can be tailored around your investment story.

There will be more tools to come in the future, and more discussion about Here We Grow at CityVision 2016. All of this was designed to make it easy for you to use and to bring public attention to your efforts. We’ve also developed a detailed how-to guide to answer any questions. For more information, feel free to email Scott Mooneyham or Ben Brown on the NCLM staff.

The N.C. State Water Infrastructure Authority (SWIA) announced this week that the Statewide Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Master Plan is available for review through Nov. 11. SWIA was created by the General Assembly in 2013, and in addition to being tasked with making decisions regarding the distribution of federal and state funding for water and wastewater infrastructure (which includes the Connect NC bond infrastructure funds), it also assesses and make recommendations about the state’s water and wastewater infrastructure needs.

The purpose of the Master Plan is to provide a roadmap for the state “to have viable water and wastewater utilities that safeguard public health, protect the environment, support vibrant communities, and encourage economic development.” The plan is intended to apply broadly to owners and operators of water and wastewater systems that serve the public and touches on the state’s role in fostering infrastructure management, organizational management, and financial management of those systems. More information about how to submit a comment can be found here.

The following is an excerpt of a post by League Director of Research and Policy Analysis Chris Nida on the UNC School of Government's new public finance blog, Death and Taxes.

It’s getting harder to fund city government in North Carolina. On the one hand, that might seem hard to believe. People continue to flock to many cities and towns across the state. More than half of the state’s population lives in a municipality. One recent projection from American City Business Journals sees the Raleigh and Charlotte metropolitan areas alone adding nearly 3 million people in the next 25 years. Those newcomers who choose to live in city limits will join existing city residents in paying city property taxes, and join all those who shop in North Carolina in paying sales taxes that cities receive a share of.

But all of these current and future residents demand city services too. The citizens and the businesses they work for want clean water, and good roads, and responsive police and fire departments, and timely trash pickup, and reliable public transit, and parks and other amenities that provide the quality of life that helped attract them in the first place. And North Carolina cities are particularly limited in the options they have to fund all these services. Click here for the full take from League Director of Research and Policy Analysis Chris Nida as featured in the UNC School of Government's new public finance blog, "Death & Taxes."

On trees, humanity has shown no lack of rhapsody. Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Ezra Pound, E.E. Cummings, William Butler Yeats, Walt Whitman, D.H. Lawrence -- they're just a sampling of poetry greats who've devoted at least a good amount of study to what connects people and trees. Now, let's bring in the scientists. The next episode of Municipal Equation, the League's biweekly podcast, delves into the actual reliance we place on trees -- explained in dollars and cents -- in developed environments like cities. We talk about a recent economic impact study and check out online tools that anyone can use to valuate city trees -- from individal sidewalk specimens to entire urban forests. We discuss the impact trees have on municipal services and how some experts see trees as vital -- and increasingly strategic -- components of a city's infrastructure. It's way more interesting than you might think. Click here for the preview and look out for the full episode out on Oct. 25.

What did you think of the last installment? If you missed it, we talked with Adam Lovelady of the UNC School of Government about his recent research into the suburbs, what they might look like in the coming decades and what role local government has in that. You can access all episodes of Municipal Equation here. You can also subscribe to it via iTunes here, completely for free (and please leave us a nice review). The podcast additionally is available on all the popular podcast-streaming apps, like Stitcher and Google Play. Have ideas for the show? Send them to host/producer Ben Brown at

The state finished the fiscal year's first quarter with $158 million, or 3 percent, more in the bank than projected, budget officials announced Thursday, connecting it to "strong wage growth and employment gains." Citing a quater-end report, they explained that personal income tax withholding on wages "led the way" while sales tax collections landed on target. The state in July, just after the close of last fiscal year, announced a budget surplus of roughly $430 million.

Four municipalities are among a new slate of infrastructure funding winners, the state announced this week. The City of Claremont is in line for a $28,189 grant to expand a previous $120,975 grant meant to help businesses in the Claremont Industrial Park with upgrades in sewer service for future growth, according to a press release. "This project opens development and job-creation opportunities for the entire 22-acre industrial site," the release said. A $200,000 loan is going to the City of Thomasville toward the reuse of a building that has sat vacant for the past year. The total capital investment there is $1.5 million, the release noted. Meanwhile, the Town of Mocksville is down for a $100,000 building reuse grant; the Town of Columbia will get $25,000 for a similar project. "The availability of modern infrastructure and ready-to-go buildings is necessary for restoring North Carolina's white-picket-fence communities," Commerce Secretary John Skvarla said of the funds. The N.C. Rural Infrastructure Authority reviewed and approved the funding requests. Click here for more information about the funding source.