eRegions

NOTE: NARC newsletters are typically uploaded to the website on the Friday of the week they were sent out.

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May 23, 2016

EXECUTIVE NOTE
NARC Members,

In addition to an agenda packed with exciting speakers and ideas you can bring back home, NARC’s 50th Annual Conference and Exhibition includes elections for NARC Executive Directors Council (EDC) officers and NARC Board of Directors candidates.

NARC’s Board of Directors is the governing body of the organization and guides its policy. On Wednesday, June 29 at 10:00 AM following breakfast and the closing keynote session, NARC members will vote for the NARC President, President-elect, Sr. Vice President, and regional representatives to the Board. Information on NARC elections and procedures are outlined in the NARC By-laws. Regional members of the board serve for two years.  Consult our memo and list of open Board seats to see if you or an elected official from your region are interested in running.

NARC’s EDC serves as the organization’s advisory body. EDC Elections take place on Monday, June 27 during the EDC business meeting, which is open to all members. Consult our list of open EDC seats to see who represents your region.

Please note: NARC’s hotel room block rate expires on June 3. See you there!

Best,
Leslie

NEWS FROM WASHINGTON
Congress is in session.

Appropriations Update
The Senate is scheduled to consider the defense appropriations bill for FY 2017. Controversial amendments are expected.

The House will debate the $30.2 billion Energy-Water appropriations bill (H.R. 5055), providing more than $30 billion in funding for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers civil works projects, the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation, and independent agencies such as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The bill does not include an amendment on the EPA controversial Waters of the U.S. rule.

The House is expected to begin debate on an energy bill passed by the Senate (S. 2012) earlier this year. Lawmakers are expected to include a series of controversial amendments that include language from the House version (H.R. 8). Amendments to help the California drought include provisions to loosen requirements on protected species, speedup permitting for projects, and require more studies on water storage.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will mark up the $5 billion Water Resources Development Act this week. The bill authorizes 28 new Army Corps of Engineers projects and cancel $5 billion in older projects. The bill includes funding for lead water pipe replacement, highlighted by the lead levels in Flint, MI. Funding to replace lead pipes was included in the Senate committee passed version of the bill.

Funding for U.S. Census projects will be the subject of a House Appropriations Committee markup on Tuesday. The bill would increase Census funding above last year’s levels. The Senate Appropriations Committee passed its version of the bill in April, but the full Senate has not acted on the Commerce, Justice, and Science funding measure yet. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee members expressed concerns over information technology challenges to the 2020 Census.

The Parks, Trails, and Health Workbook
A new guide from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Park Service was recently released to help planners, parks and recreation professionals, and health practitioners incorporate public health considerations into parks and trails development. It includes information on finding health data and completed health impact assessments (HIAs) and information on how to facilitate interagency and stakeholder discussion and collaboration.

OTHER NEWS
Securing Our Water Future: 21st Century Solutions for 21st Century Cities
During Infrastructure Week last week, the National League of Cities hosted a Congressional briefing aimed at emphasizing the importance of water infrastructure across the country. Representative Paul Tonko (D-NY) spoke passionately about demanding more federal funding for water infrastructure and the aging system he sees in his own district. He emphasized waters importance for every single job and life. Following the Congressman, a panel discussion with local leaders from cities around the country talked about challenges in their own region and ways they are working to overcome them. This call for increased federal funding and creative solutions from a multitude of cities shows how essential improving water infrastructure is to building thriving communities.

Shared, Collaborative and On Demand: The New Digital Economy
The Pew Research Center released a new report on the shared economy and how this might affect day-to-day lives, regulation, and the digital divide. The research looks at who is using shared and on-demand platforms such as crowdfunding sites, home-sharing platforms and ride-hailing apps and takes a deep dive into the 4,787 survey responses and the implications and views of each these services.

FUNDING
View full list of grants!

U.S. Department of Energy’s SolSmart Program
Application Deadline: June 20
NARC encourages its members to participate and spread the word on the DOE SolSmart Progam, a new program aiming to  increase solar deployment throughout the nation. Through past initiatives such as the SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership and Solar Ready II, NARC has worked to increase solar installations through working with regional councils. NARC served on the Advisory Committee for the designation program and believes the SolSmart program offers a pathway to continue work.

SolSmart offers a new designation program focused on providing communities with national recognition for their efforts to reduce the cost of solar and promote solar market maturity. By achieving designation, municipal governments signal to the solar industry that they are open for solar business. The program offers no-cost technical assistance to help cities and counties accelerate their transition to clean, reliable solar energy and thereby qualify for designation.

Regional entities can participate in several ways. They can 1) spread the word to their member municipalities and encourage them to seek SolSmart designation, 2) convene their members on solar energy topics of particular regional relevance, and 3) help their members coordinate an application to receive and share a SolSmart Advisor, a fully-funded, experienced staff member who can help communities improve their local solar markets. For questions on how your region can get involved, please contact Emily Dodson at edodson@icma.org.

Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant Application Information
Applications Due: June 15 by 3:00 PM ET
FEMA announced the Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFO) for the FY 2016 Pre-Disaster Mitigation and Flood Mitigation Assistance grant programs. These two grant programs assist state, local, tribal, and territorial governments in strengthening our nation’s ability to reduce the potential cost of natural disasters to communities and their citizens. The NOFO for each program is posted on Grants.gov and contains the key program priorities and application requirements

FEATURED JOBS
View full list of jobs!

Principal Transit Planner
San Diego Association of Governments, San Diego, CA

Bexar Aging Managing Local Ombudsman
Alamo Area Council of Governments, San Antonio, TX

Transportation Planner II
Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments, Kelso, WA

Community Development Planner II
Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments, Kelso, WA

Quality Assurance Reviewer
Alamo Area Council of Governments, San Antonio, TX

Transportation Planner
Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, Pittsburgh, PA

Planning Data and Technical Services Program Director
Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Washington, DC

Transportation Planner III
Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Washington, DC

Plan Development and Coordination Program Director
Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Washington, DC

Senior Statistical Survey Analyst
Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Washington, DC

EVENTS
View full list of events!

Tales from the Trenches: Elected Leaders and Economic Developers Working Together
May 24, 2:30 – 3:30 PM ET
The support of local elected leaders is a critical factor in successful economic development. To put it simply, neither economic developers or elected leaders will generate optimal results without the other. From supporting initiatives to building coalitions, to designing and coordinating public policy, mayors and council members have opportunities every day to promote a strategic vision of economic growth for their community. This National League of Cities (NLC) and International Economic Development Council webinar will explore where economic goals align and is designed to benefit both economic developers and elected leaders, as well as their staff, their peers in city hall, and their colleagues at partner economic development organizations.

NARC Webinar! The Sharing Economy
June 2, 1:30 – 2:30 PM ET
Over the last five or so years the sharing economy has made a huge impact nationally and globally. As sharing economy companies (e.g. AirBnB, Uber, Lyft, etc.) continue to enter new markets, the regulatory environment surrounding these new business models remains in flux. Different communities approach these new platforms in vastly different ways. This webinar will be a discussion of the challenges and opportunities inherent in the sharing economy. Join NARC and NLC to learn about the economic benefits, current approaches that jurisdictions are taking, and regulatory challenges these industries may introduce.

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