eRegions

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September 17, 2018

Register Today for NARC’s Executive Directors Conference!
Join NARC, the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Council, and your peers in Cleveland, Ohio September 30 – October 2 for a not-to-be missed opportunity to learn about ideas and best practices from your colleagues and other experts around the nation. Registration for NARC’s 2018 Executive Directors Conference (EDC) is now open here. See our most recent conference agenda draft here. Conference sessions and the room block will be at Metropolitan at The 9, Autograph Collection. The hotel cut off has passed, but please contact Marcy if you need to reserve a room.

NARC Board Members (and those who manage travel for Board Members), don’t forget to RSVP here for both the Board Retreat and Dinner. The Board Dinner will begin after 6pm on Tuesday, October 2nd and the meeting will end before 2pm on Wednesday, October 3rd. Please plan your departure flights accordingly. If you have any questions about logistics, please reach out to Marcy Fritter at marcy@narc.org.

NEWS FROM WASHINGTON
The House is on recess and will return September 25. The Senate will be out only on Wednesday in observance of the Yom Kippur holiday.

Congress Prepares to Punt Biggest Political Battles until after Midterms
There are just nine legislative days for the Senate and four legislative days for the House before the new fiscal year begins on October 1. There are still a host of federal programs slated to expire after September 30, which Congress may have to consider passing short-term extensions for if they can’t find a path forward. Some of these issues include:

  • Senate and House negotiators on both sides of the aisle are still hammering out differences between their versions of the Farm Bill, struggling to reach a compromise on whether to overhaul the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
  • Although the House has passed a long-term Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization, the Senate has yet to bring any legislation to the floor. One of the major hold ups has been the desire by some senators to include provisions providing uniformity across the country when it comes to meal and rest breaks for truck drivers.
  • Fiscal year (FY) 2019 appropriations also need to be passed next week, or a continuing resolution needs to be passed, to keep the federal government from shutting down. So far, no bills have yet been signed by the president (more on the FY 2019 appropriations process below).

Appropriations Update
The House and Senate just passed an identical FY 2019 appropriations bill package (H.R. 5895), which includes funding for Energy and Water, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and the Legislative Branch. Having agreed with Senate and House leaders that they will resume the fight over border wall funding after the midterms, the president expects to sign this package later this week. The next appropriations package that we will be keeping our eye on is the Defense and Labor and Health and Human Services (H.R. 6157), which could pass the Senate as soon as this week. Lawmakers have agreed to include a stop-gap funding measure that would cover all the federal agencies through December 7 in the case that all the appropriations bills are not signed before September 30.

Senate Set to Vote on Opioid Response Package This Week
After weeks of slowed negotiations between lawmakers, the Senate has reached a deal on a bipartisan package to address the opioid crisis and plan on voting on it today. The bill rejects provisions in the House version (H.R. 6) to require Medicaid to cover treatment at more in-patient facilities and loosen privacy restrictions for substance-abuse patients’ medical records. Otherwise, the Senate’s package looks largely like the House bill. It would authorize new funding for states to fight drug addiction, create new comprehensive opioid recovery centers offering an array of treatment services, require the Department of Health and Human Services to develop guidelines for recovery housing, and promote the use of telemedicine by waiving restrictions that prevent reimbursement beyond rural and disadvantaged areas. The bill is expected to go to conference with the House, where an open amendment process is not anticipated.

House Sends Water Resources Infrastructure Bill to Senate with Unanimous Vote
The House unanimously approved bipartisan, comprehensive Water Resources Development Act(WRDA) legislation – the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 (S. 3021). Although the House already passed a WRDA package earlier this summer, this new bill is the product of negotiations and agreement between both congressional chambers. Bloomberg Governmentreported Senate leaders are confident they can get this bill to the president’s desk, despite Senator Richard Burr’s (R-NC) vow to block any environmental bills from coming to the floor until he can secure a vote for the renewal for the Department of the Interior’s Land and Water Conservation Fund. The National League of Cities (NLC), U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM), and National Association of Counties (NACo) released a letter applauding the efforts of both the House and Senate to move forward with this bill and their inclusion of provisions that will help our communities, which NARC agrees with as well.

Don’t Forget to Submit Comments on FCC Proposal to Limit Local Control of 5G Deployment!
As we reported last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released its draft Declaratory Ruling and Third Report and Order. If approved by the FCC on September 26, the document would enact substantial new limits on local wireless siting review. National local government associations like NARC, NLC, and NACo are concerned because the proposed language could, as stated by NLC, “result in huge revenue losses for local governments from small cell lease agreements, new unfunded mandates, and a loss of local control over issues like undergrounding, negotiations for public benefits, and the ability to fully control the appearance of city streets.” We encourage you to use this letter template to express your concerns no later than 11:59pm ET on September 19.

OTHER NEWS
USDA To Host National Listening Session for Rural Development Guarantee Loan Programs
From 9:30am to 12:30pm ET Thursday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Innovation Center will host a national listening session to solicit feedback on a plan to increase access to capital in rural areas. The Innovation Center is working to combine and streamline four guaranteed loan programs under a single regulation: the Community Facilities Guaranteed Loan Program, the Water and Waste Disposal Guaranteed Loan Program, the Business and Industry Loan Guarantee Program, and the Rural Energy for America Program. The national listening session will give stakeholders a chance to voice their priorities, concerns, and requests about this plan. To virtually attend the national listening session, register here.

NLC Releases City Fiscal Conditions Report
Last week, NLC officially released their annual City Fiscal Conditions report. The report is generated from a national online survey of finance officers in U.S. cities in the spring and summer of each year. The results of the survey indicate that slightly more finance officers than last year are optimistic about the fiscal capacity of their cities. However, tax revenue growth is experiencing a year-over-year slowdown, with the growth in service costs and other expenditures outpacing it. It may be too soon to tell specifically how provisions of the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017will impact city finances, but 61 percent of financial officers report that the loss of tax-exempt advance refunding bonds will have negative impacts on future fiscal health.

REGIONAL SPOTLIGHT
New Executive Directors at SANDAG and Tri-County RPC
Both the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) in California and the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission (TCRPC) in Michigan have new leaders moving them forward. The SANDAG Board of Directors have officially selected Hasan Ikhrata, who has served as executive director at the Southern California Council of Governments (SCAG) for ten years. Hasan is also a member of NARC’s Executive Directors Council. The TCRPC Board of Commissioners recently appointed their interim executive director Jim Snell to serve as their next executive director. Jim was hired by TCRPC in 2015 as their chief transportation planner and has dedicated over 26 years of his career to transportation planning. Congratulations to Hasan and Jim on their new leadership roles!

MEMBER REQUESTS
Strategic Alignment of Committees
The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) would like to connect with other MPOs and regional councils who have updated their committee structures after the development of a new long-range or strategic plan. If your organization has experience in planning and implementing strategic committee-level changes and would be willing to share materials or lessons learned in the process, please contact Sarah Reed at sarah@narc.org.

Consolidated Planning Grant Matching Funds
The Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) is seeking input on how other MPOs handle Consolidated Planning Grant (CPG) matching funds. They are particularly interested in knowing what percentage of the match you provide for CPGs is cash versus in-kind services. DRCOG is considering changing their cash/in-kind ratio and would like information on what other organizations provide. Please send your responses to Erich Zimmermann at erich@narc.org.

Regional City/County Managers Group
The Triangle J Council of Governments (TJCOG) in Durham, NC is seeking information from others on if they host city/county manager regional meetings. If you do, TJCOG is interested in how often the group meets, how meetings are structured, and any other information about your group and how it operates that you’d like to share. If your region participates or hosts city/county manager groups or meetings, please contact Sarah Reed at sarah@narc.org.

REGIONS LEAD
Visit www.regionslead.org to read up on the latest NARC blogs. We invite members to submit blogs to the site too.

FEATURED JOBS
View full list of jobs!

Assistant/Associate Planner
San Joaquin Council of Governments, Stockton, CA

Transportation Programs Manager
Benton-Franklin Council of Governments, Richland, WA

Communications Manager
Greater Portland Council of Governments, Portland, ME

DTP Travel Forcasting Program Director
Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Washington, DC

Growth Management Intern
Puget Sound Regional Council, Seattle, WA

FUNDING
View full list of grants!

Fiscal Year 2018 Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Program
Applications Due: September 17
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has announced more than $318 million in grant funding for its CRISI program. This grant program funds projects that improve intercity passenger and freight rail transportation safety, efficiency, and reliability. It also helps finance much needed critical investment to rural America, directing at least 25 percent of available funds towards rural communities. Selection preference will be given to projects with a 50 percent non-federal funding match from any combination of private, state, or local funds. The USDOT will also consider how well the project aligns with its key objectives, including supporting economic vitality; leveraging federal funding; preparing for life-cycle costs; using innovative approaches to improve safety and expedite project delivery; and holding grant recipients accountable for achieving specific, measurable outcomes.

HUD’s Continuum of Care Program
Applications Due: September 18
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is making $2.1 billion available in fiscal year 2018 for the Continuum of Care (CoC) Program. The program is designed to promote a community-wide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness. It provides funding for efforts by nonprofit providers, states, and local governments to quickly re-house homeless individuals, families, persons fleeing domestic violence, and youth while minimizing the trauma and dislocation caused by homelessness. It also strives to promote access and utilization of mainstream programs by the homeless, and to optimize self-sufficiency among those experiencing homelessness.

Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Program
Applications Due: September 25
The Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction (LHR) grant program assists states, cities, counties/parishes, Native American Tribes, or other units of local government in undertaking comprehensive programs to identify and control lead-based paint hazards in eligible privately-owned rental or owner-occupied housing populations. Funds will be awarded to applicants to accomplish many objectives, including: maximizing the number of children under the age of six years protected from lead poisoning and the number of housing units where lead hazards are controlled; utilizing cost-effective lead hazard control methods and approaches that ensure the long-term safety of the building occupants; building local capacity to safely and effectively address lead hazards during lead hazard control, renovation, remodeling, and maintenance activities; and developing comprehensive, community-based approaches to integrating this grant program within other local initiatives through public and private partnerships.

Increasing Social Connectedness for Older Adults
Applications Due: September 28
The AARP Foundation is seeking applicants with evidence-based, innovative solutions positioned for exponential growth to bring to scale proven approaches that increase social support and connectedness among hundreds of thousands of low-income older adults. This funding opportunity requires a 1:1 dollar match (cash or in-kind) from one or more other funding sources. If you do not have matching funding for your requested grant amount, you must detail a plan for raising the matching funds in your application.

Tackling Senior Food Insecurity
Applications Due: September 28
The AARP Foundation is seeking applicants with evidence-based, innovative solutions positioned for exponential growth to bring to scale proven approaches that increase food security among hundreds of thousands of low-income older adults. This funding opportunity requires a 1:1 dollar match (cash or in-kind) from one or more other funding sources. If you do not have matching funding for your requested grant amount, you must detail a plan for raising the matching funds in your application.

RESTORE Act Direct Component – Construction and Real Property Acquisition Activities
Applications Due: September 28
Under the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012 (RESTORE Act), the Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund (Trust Fund) was established in the Treasury of the United States. Eighty percent of the civil penalties paid after July 6, 2012, under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act in connection with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill will be deposited into the Trust Fund, invested, and dispersed. This notice is only for applications for eligible construction and real property acquisition activities, including projects with or without a non-federal share for another federally-funded project. Trust Fund amounts are available to carry out the following eligible activities described in the RESTORE Act (activities 1-7 must be carried out in the Gulf Coast region):

  1. Restoration and protection of the natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, and coastal wetlands of the Gulf Coast region.
  2. Mitigation of damage to fish, wildlife, and natural resources.
  3. Implementation of a federally-approved marine, coastal, or comprehensive conservation management plan, including fisheries monitoring.
  4. Workforce development and job creation.
  5. Improvements to or on state parks located in coastal areas affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
  6. Infrastructure projects benefitting the economy or ecological resources, including port infrastructure.
  7. Coastal flood protection and related infrastructure.
  8. Planning assistance.
  9. Administrative costs.
  10. Promotion of tourism in the Gulf Coast region, including recreational fishing.
  11. Promotion of the consumption of seafood harvested from the Gulf Coast region.

Strategic Economic and Community Development
Applications Due: September 30
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA)-Rural Development Strategic Economic and Community Development (SECD) is a Farm Bill provision that allows USDA to give priority for projects that support the implementation of regional economic development plans through the following four USDA Rural Development programs: Community Facilities Loans, Grants, and Loan Guarantees; Water and Waste Disposal Program Loans, Grants, and Loan Guarantees; Business & Industry Program Loan Guarantees; and Rural Business Development Grants. To be eligible for SECD, a project must: be eligible for the underlying program; be carried out solely in a rural area; and support a multi-jurisdictional strategic economic community development plan. To apply for SECD priority points, applicants must submit Form RD 1980–88 by the application deadline of the program(s) you are applying for or September 30, 2018, whichever comes first.

Healthy Tomorrows Partnership for Children Program
Applications Due: October 1
The Healthy Tomorrows Partnership for Children Program (HTPCP) improves access to quality health care and services, builds healthy communities, and improves health equity. Community-based programs and evidence-based models of care that build on existing community resources will be implemented and evaluated to demonstrate program impact. This program supports collaboration between local pediatric providers and community leaders to provide quality health care and preventive health services to children, adolescents, and families in rural and other underserved communities. HTPCP funding supports projects that provide clinical or public health services and does not support research projects. HTPCP applications MUST represent either a new initiative (i.e., project that was not previously in existence) within the community or an innovative new component that builds upon an existing community-based program or initiative.

Fiscal Year 2018 Gang Suppression Planning Grants Program
Applications Due: October 4
The Gang Suppression Planning Grants Program is designed to reduce violent crime, gangs, and victimization and promote public safety in communities through planning support to eligible localities to build capacity for a multilateral data-driven strategy. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is seeking proposals from applicant jurisdictions that have high levels of youth perpetrated gun crime and gang violence and that can demonstrate a willingness and readiness to develop fully comprehensive, community- and data-driven responses. Funding will support selected jurisdictions to undertake strategic planning and capacity-building work through multidisciplinary and community partnerships.

Forest Service – Landscape Scale Restoration Grants
Applications Due: October 12
The U.S. Forest Service will support competitive projects that shape and influence forest land use on a scale and in a way that optimizes public benefits from trees and forests for both current and future generations. Organizations interested in helping states and the U.S. Forest Service attain mutual goals can familiarize themselves with their State Forest Action Plan(s) and discuss project ideas with their state forestry agency. Coordination with State Foresters is the essential step that ensures projects will make an important local difference. Partners and collaborators must submit an initial draft of their Grants.gov application to involved State Foresters by September 14.

Historic Preservation Fund Grants to Underrepresented Communities
Applications Due: November 1
This National Park Service grant program supports the survey, inventory, and designation of historic properties that are associated with communities currently underrepresented in the National Register of Historic Places and among National Historic Landmarks. Within one year of the completion of the grant, all projects must result in: the submission of a new nomination to the National Register of Historic Places or National Historic Landmark program OR an amendment to an existing National Register or National Historic Landmark nomination to include underrepresented communities.

2019 RWJF Culture of Health Prize
Applications Due: November 1
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Culture of Health Prize (the Prize) recognizes communities that have come together around a commitment to health, opportunity, and equity through collaboration and inclusion, especially those with historically marginalized populations and those facing the greatest barriers to good health. The Prize honors those communities that are working to give everyone the opportunity to live well, including residents that are often left behind. A Culture of Health recognizes that where we live—our access to affordable and stable homes, quality schools, reliable transportation—make a difference in our opportunities to thrive, and ultimately all of this profoundly affects our health and well-being. Ten communities will be chosen and will:

  • Receive a $25,000 cash prize;
  • Receive customized communications materials about their community including videos, photos, and stories captured by journalists and other communications professionals;
  • Receive strategic communications counsel leading up to, during, and in follow-up to the Prize winner announcement;
  • Receive national and local promotion of their stories and successes to inspire others’ efforts, including outreach to media, policy stakeholders, and organizational networks; and
  • Engage in opportunities to build knowledge with other national and community leaders working to build a Culture of Health, including past Prize winners through the Prize Alumni Network.

EVENTS
View full list of events!

WIIN Grants, WIIN 2107 Lead Testing in Schools, and the Revised 3Ts Materials
September 18, 3:00-4:00 PM ET
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is hosting a webinar on its Water Infrastructure Improvement for the Nation (WIIN) grant programs and updates to its 3Ts (Training, Testing, and Taking Action) Toolkit for addressing lead in drinking water in schools and child care facilities. The Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN Act) authorized three new grant programs in §§2104, 2105, and 2107, appropriated in FY 2018. The Lead Testing in School and Child Care Program Drinking Water ($20M in FY18) -§2107 creates a grant program assisting local educational agencies in voluntary testing for lead contamination in drinking water at schools and child care programs. State or local educational agencies, or an entity as appointed by the State’s Governor, can apply to the grant.

Innovative and Emerging Broadband Technologies: Providing Economical Alternatives for Rural Broadband Access
September 19, 2:00-3:00 PM ET
BroadbandUSA’s next Practical Conversation webinar will discuss new, emerging, and innovative wireless technologies currently being tested and/or deployed to address rural broadband challenges.

Nonprofits Count! Preparing for Census 2020
September 20, 1:00-2:00 PM ET
In 2010, over 24,350 local nonprofits across 50 states used Nonprofit VOTE resources to promote the census in their communities. And now that the 2020 census is underway, an accurate count is critical to the allocation of more than $600 billion in governmental resources. Census experts Terri Ann Lowenthal, an advisor and U.S. Census and Policy consultant; Stephania Ramirez, Director of Strategic Initiatives for the California Community Foundation; and Sheilah Clay, President and CEO of Neighborhood Service Organization will show you how your nonprofit can get involved in leveraging local funding to support participation.

Securing Democracy: Challenges and Best Practices in State and Local Election Cybersecurity
September 20, 2:00-3:00 PM ET
Cyber attacks in the lead up to the 2016 presidential election crystallized the need for state and local governments to focus on the security and integrity of elections. Since that time, officials at all levels have worked to identify ways to ensure our locally-governed election systems are secured against sophisticated threats. This Route Fifty digital webcast will explore the state of election cybersecurity ahead of the 2018 midterms, while looking forward to how the nation is preparing for 2020 and beyond. We’ll explore election and cyber leaders’ biggest challenges and offer best practices in shoring up cyber defenses.

Communicating Rates in a Changing Water Landscape
September 20, 2:00-3:00 PM ET
While water is invaluable and essential, making sure water reaches us safely and is returned to nature responsibly is expensive – particularly considering the pressures water systems face from changing demographics, more extreme weather, and rapidly aging infrastructure. Utilities face competing realities: on the one hand, neither outside funding or water utility rates have kept pace with needs; on the other hand, increasing rates has a real impact on customers. Join the US Water Alliance to hear from leading water communications teams about considerations, messaging, and tactics that help the public understand why investment is so critical.

Local Efforts Supporting Innovation in Early Childhood Development
The National Association of Counties (NACo) invites you to participate in a webinar highlighting local innovations and best practice models in early childhood development. Counties play a critical role in shaping early childhood systems and are instrumental in investing in core services supporting young children and families. To ensure that children are developmentally on track at age three and to improve kindergarten school readiness, communities must drive increased attention on prenatal-to-three initiatives and the critical need for early investments around programs and services that ensure a healthy start at birth, provide support to families of infants and toddlers, and provide high-quality child care and early learning opportunities.

Opioids: Recovery, Prevention, & Hope: National Experts Equip Faith and Community Leaders
September 27, 1:00-2:00 PM ET
Live from Washington D.C., the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will convene national leaders and experts to talk about the opioid epidemic and other addictions to raise awareness, encourage compassion, reinforce the role of community and families in long-term recovery and prevention, and make a call to action. HHS encourages you to host a post-broadcast conversation in your community with local experts and discuss approaches that will foster healing for individuals and families and align regional efforts to renew wholeness in your community. This event will be livestreamed at HHS.gov/live.

Municipal Approaches to Solar Energy (Part II)
Part II: September 27, 12:00-1:00 PM CT
University of Illinois Extension Community and Economic Development will air two live webinars on municipal approaches to solar energy. The first webinar on cost control will share strategies to make your municipality an easy, fast, and cheap place for solar energy installations on both public and private sector properties. Speakers will also discuss the SolSmart best practices and recognition program, municipal solar procurement, public bulk purchase programming, and leasing underutilized property for solar. The second webinar will cover municipal experiences with solar farm implementation and efforts in leading a community-supported solar panel installation.

County-State Collaboration in Criminal Justice Planning
September 27, 2:00-3:15 PM ET
As counties and states across the country work to make their justice systems run more fairly and effectively, many jurisdictions are realizing that intergovernmental coordination is essential. County and state justice systems are run separately in most states, but they are very intertwined and changes at the state level can have major impacts at the local level and vice versa. Join the National Association of Counties (NACo) and the National Criminal Justice Association for this webinar to learn how states and counties can work together to identify issues and opportunities and develop solutions that improve criminal justice at both levels of government.

Races to Watch, Part I: A Look Ahead to November 6
October 4, 2:00-2:30 PM ET
The 2018 midterms are fast approaching, with many analysts forecasting a Democratic tidal wave.  Midterm elections are often a referendum on the president, and this year will be no exception. But with President Trump’s approval rating sagging even with economic indicators at record highs, a record number of women running for Congress, and many Democratic candidates pushing for changes within their party leadership, this election is anything but typical. Join Bloomberg Government’s resident election guru, Greg Giroux, and editorial director, Loren Duggan, for the first installment of this two-part series looking ahead to November 6 and the implications for 2019 and the president’s agenda.

What Do Citizens Want from Digital Government Services?
October 11, 2:00-3:00 PM ET
From shopping to learning to connecting with friends and more, a big part of citizens’ lives is now conducted online. In this environment, state and local governments are challenged to deliver digital experiences that meet sky-high citizen expectations. According to new research conducted by the Center for Digital Government (CDG) and sponsored by Conduent, 62 percent of citizens think governments should experiment with new technology offerings. Government Technologyand the Center for Digital Government will be unpacking these research findings to better understand citizens’ preferences and priorities and discussing how government organizations can best tailor their digital interactions.

Increasing the Number of People with Mental Illnesses Connected to Treatment
October 25, 2:00-3:15 PM ET
Part of the Stepping Up framework encourages counties to focus their efforts on impacting one or more of “Four Key Measures” for people with mental illnesses: jail bookings, jail length of stay, connections to treatment, and recidivism. Join Stepping Up for the third webinar in the Four Key Measures series, which will provide strategies for increasing the number of people with mental illnesses connected to treatment in jails and in the community and describe key data points to collect and analyze to track this measure of success. Previous webinars in this series are available in the Stepping Up toolkit.

Gaining Project Support from Your Team, Elected Officials, and the Public
November 14, 2:00-3:30 PM ET
This International City/County Management Association (ICMA) webinar will cover the following topics:
1. What’s key to presenting your idea or project effectively?
2. How can everyone play a role in leading and supporting productive change?
3. What can we learn from case studies about how to navigate and serve successfully?

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