EPA Awards $12.7 Million to Assist Small Drinking Water and Wastewater Systems

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is awarding $12.7 million in grants to help small drinking and wastewater systems and private well owners. More than 97 percent of the nation’s 157,000 public water systems serve fewer than 10,000 people, and more than 80 percent of these systems serve fewer than 500 people. Many small systems…

EDA Issues Final Rule for the Regional Innovation Series Program

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) issued a final rule applicable to the Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) Program last Thursday. Launched in 2014, EDA through its RIS Program, awards grants for capacity-building programs that provide proof-of-concept and commercialization assistance to innovators and entrepreneurs and for operational support to organizations that provide essential early-stage funding to…

Seeking Comments on Local Wireless Facilities

Before the holidays, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a Public Notice seeking comments on local wireless facilities siting policies as they apply to small cell infrastructure. Local government groups are concerned that a petition filed by Mobilitie, a wireless infrastructure provider, would substantially limit cities’ authority over public rights of way and ability to…

Tax Exemption for Municipal Bonds

As the new administration and Congress take office and highlight tax reform on their agenda, state and local governments have joined together to encourage continued support for tax-exempt municipal bonds amid fears that this key infrastructure finance tool might again be targeted as a source of revenue. NARC has joined with the Public Finance Network…

ETCOG Awarded for Excellence in Financial Reporting for Fifteenth Consecutive Year

The Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting has been awarded to the East Texas Council of Governments (ETCOG) by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for its comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR) for 2015. This certificate of achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting…

What We Learned from the Smart City Challenge to Build Cities for the Future

Secretary Foxx and USDOT have created a lessons learned report with information gleaned from the 75 cities who applied for the Smart City Challenge to help local leaders innovate in their own cities. The report includes several data points from the first round of applications and an overview of the seven finalist cities’ comprehensive applications.…

Secretary Foxx Exit Memo

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx released his Cabinet Exit Memo today, highlighting his time in office and record of progress. Foxx focuses on the advancements in technology, such as automated vehicles and connected infrastructure, and ways USDOT has assisted in their deployment through the Smart City Challenge and Federal Automated Vehicle Policy. He emphasizes the…

Greater Portland COG Receives Every Body Walk! Support

America Walks and the Every Body Walk! Collaborative announced the second round of Every Body Walk! Micro Grant awardees. The micro grant program provides funds that support grassroots efforts aimed at getting communities walking and creating more safe, accessible, and enjoyable places to walk and be physically active. With support from partners, including WalkBoston, American…

National Center for Sustainable Transportation Leadership Council

Erich Zimmermann, NARC’s Director of Transportation Programs, has recently been appointed to the National Center for Sustainable Transportation (NCST) Leadership Council. NCST is a USDOT University Transportation Center lead by the University of California, Davis. The National Center, founded in 2012, recently received a five-year grant totaling $14 million to fund research in different areas…

A Hint at How Transportation Secretary-designate Chao Will Lead

The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee has posted the completed questionnaire from Transportation Secretary Designate Elaine Chao. The Committee posts the non-confidential portion of these informational forms to increase transparency in their confirmation process. It includes Chao’s personnel information as well as a detailed professional history with employers, association memberships, awards, and speaking engagements.…

2011-2015 ACS 5-Year Estimates and 2016 Determinations for the Voting Rights Act

The U.S. Census Bureau released the 2011-2015 five year ACS estimates, offering a wealth of demographic and socio-economic data on more than 40 topics for communities of all sizes. The five-year estimates average data collected over the relevant time period from an annual sample of roughly 3.5 million addresses, to ensure acceptable levels of statistical…

House Passes Continuing Resolution and Water Bill

A four-month continuing resolution (CR) passed the House today by a 326-96 vote, and must be finalized by tomorrow to avert a government shutdown. The CR funds federal agencies through April 28 with additional dollars for a few urgent needs such as natural disaster relief and war operations, and $7 million for New York City…

Assistance Request: CDBG Success Stories

NARC has joined with the Community Development Block Grant Coalition to highlight the value of federal housing and community development programs to communities as the President-elect Trump Transition team develops policies on housing and community development. We are seeking information on CDBG projects that have made a significant contribution to your communities. The Community Development…

DVRPC Board Retreat and Megaregions Workshop

This week, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) held their annual Board Retreat in conjunction with a Federal Highway Administration workshop on megaregions. The-two day event brought together local, state, and federal transportation experts to explore how to work together on a megaregion level. Day one featured national megaregions expert and director of the…

NARC Webinar Slides: 2016 Election Outcomes and Impact

NARC held a post-election webinar, 2016 Election Outcomes and Impact, on Monday detailing the overall results and thoughts about the incoming Administration. The slides include information on the new Congress and thoughts on what the new Administration might focus on. Check out the presentation slides for more detail.

Trump Selects Elaine Chao as Next U.S. DOT Secretary

Washington, D.C. (November 29, 2016): President-elect Donald Trump will reportedly announce later today that he is nominating Elaine Chao to serve as the next Secretary of Transportation. Chao has extensive executive experience, having served as Secretary of Labor for the entirety of the George W. Bush Administration and Deputy Secretary of Transportation under the George…

Rep. Visclosky Recognizes NIRPC’s 50 Years of Service in the House

In the House yesterday, Representative Peter Visclosky (D-IN) recognized the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) for 50 years of service and dedication to infrastructure planning in the areas of transportation, land use, and the environment. Representative Visclosky expressed gratitude, recognized influential people over the years, and provided a nice history of the organization. He…

What Does a Trump Presidency Mean for the Supreme Court?

Lisa Soronen, executive director of the State and Local Legal Center, spoke on this topic at NARC’s 50th Annual Conference & Exhibition in Salt Lake City earlier this year and now provides an update in the National League of Cities blog, CitiesSpeak. While still a candidate, President-elect Donald Trump released two lists of potential Supreme…

Change is Afoot after Historic Election

Last week’s election of Donald J. Trump as the nation’s 45th president came as a surprise to many, both inside and outside the Beltway. However, one thing is certain: one-party rule has returned to Washington, D.C. for the first time since 2010. This time, Republicans will control both chambers of Congress and the White House.…

What NARC’s Move Means for Regions

Washington, D.C. (November 1, 2016): Yesterday the National Association of Regional Councils’ (NARC) staff unpacked boxes, perfected furniture placement, and started work in our new home at 660 North Capitol Street NW Suite 440, Washington, D.C. 20001. What does this mean for regions? It means a lot and here’s why: OUR NEW NEIGHBORS ARE GREAT…

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