eRegions

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

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July 18, 2016

NOTE: This week, be sure to tune in for the rescheduled Census webinar on Thursday, July 21 and watch for information on the 2016 Executive Directors Conference in South Bend, Indiana hosted by the Michiana Area Council of Governments. See the Events section for further detail.

NEWS FROM WASHINGTON
Congress is on recess.

Overview
Congress begins a seven-week recess for party conventions and August summer break. Congress will return to unfinished business including approval of spending bills before the end of the fiscal year on September 30 and passage of water infrastructure bills.

Before leaving town, Congress completed work on extension of federal aviation programs and legislation to combat the opioid epidemic. The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (S 524) sets up programs for expanded drug treatment and recovery programs. The bill now goes to the President for his signature. The Federal Aviation Administration extension bill will allow 14-months of funding for federal airport programs while Congress works out issues on long term legislation and privatization of the air traffic control system, which has delayed passage of a long-term reauthorization bill.

Congress will return from their break to only weeks of legislative time before the end of the fiscal year and with no agreement on spending levels for fiscal year 2017. Legislators are deeply divided over whether to adopt a continuing resolution at current spending levels to get beyond the elections or hold spending decisions for a lame duck session after the elections. Either way, funding for critical local programs will be caught in a contentious debate heightened by a deeply partisan campaign season.

NARC has joined a wide coalition of local government and water resource advocates in urging Congress to adopt the Water Resources Development Act, which provides funds for critical water projects under the US Army Corps of Engineers.

19th Annual Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency EXPO and Policy Forum
Last week, the Sustainable Energy Coalition along with the House and Senate Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucuses hosted the 19th Annual Congressional Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency EXPO and Policy Forum in Washington, D.C. The EXPO brought together 48 businesses, trade associations, and government agencies to showcase renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. Nine panels addressed the public regarding new projects, products, reports, and policy developments as well the challenges that this exponentially growing industry currently faces. Exhibitors and panelists demonstrated one thing for certain: many companies and organizations are capable and ready to implement higher efficiency and renewable technologies across multiple sectors including transportation, residential and industrial building infrastructure, and electrical grid systems. However, despite the vast amount of renewable technologies available and energy produced from renewable resources, companies in this industry find difficulty in lowering the barriers that prevent renewable energy and technologies from more successfully integrating into commercial markets. Learn more about the exhibits, panel discussions, and regional impacts of using renewable resources.

OTHER NEWS
NLC’s 2016 State of the Cities Report
The National League of Cities (NLC) analyzed mayoral State of the City speeches for 2016 to get a sense of issues important to city leaders. Economic development tops the list, a position it has held since NLC started analyzing mayor addresses in 2014. Infrastructure, public safety, budget, education, and housing also hold prominent positions. Trends, according to the report, include a continuing focus on local economies by improving entrepreneurship, ensuring that improved revenues are spent carefully, encouraging sustainability and placemaking strategies, keeping crime rates low, dealing with the opioid epidemic, and taking advantage of technology and data for more efficient and transparent decision making.

MEMBER REQUESTS
Please email responses to anna@narc.org.

Eastgate Regional Council of Governments Request for Information
At Eastgate Regional Council of Governments, a common issue for our members is blight and the lack of resources for addressing blight outside of US EPA brownfield grants and loans and the US Department of Treasury Hardest Hit Fund. Now that the Hardest Hit Fund is winding down and the demand for EPA’s resources is greater than ever, how are other regional councils addressing blight? Eastgate is researching options, there are federal programs, state programs, and county land banks, but regional councils do not seem to be a large part of this mix. The Northeast-Midwest Institute recently released a report that further highlights the lack of federal resources. Please share any funding resources or information your COG has found to address blight.

FEATURED JOBS
View full list of jobs!

Executive Director
Chatham County-Savannah Metropolitan Planning Commission, Savannah, GA

Senior Regional Planner
Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Washington, DC

Regional Transportation Director
Alamo Area Council of Governments, San Antonio, TX

Director of Municipal Services
Capitol Region Council of Governments, Hartford, CT

Associate/Regional Planner
Madera County Transportation Commission, Madera, CA

FUNDING
View full list of grants!

EVENTS
View full list of events!

RESCHEDULED NARC Webinar! Learn About New Census Business Builder Tools
July 21, 1:00 – 2:00 PM ET
Join NARC and the Census Bureau for a webinar demonstration on how to access and use the Census Business Builder. This new suite of tools is geared towards helping Regional Councils understand and visualize their unique region and provide access to the data that is most useful for them. The Census Business Builder: Regional Analyst Edition is a new set of economic and demographic data tools that allow for quick analysis of a region’s economy and demographic profile. The tool allows users to build a region by aggregating counties in an easy to use map interface. Over 80 Census demographic and economic data variables are available, and the results can be viewed in the map or in report form. The Census Business Builder: Small Business Edition provides a window into businesses in your community, and allows users to pick from over 50 business types and view economic and demographic data valuable to understanding the current mix of businesses.

State Leadership in Clean Energy: Award-Winning Programs in CA and NY Webinar
July 26, 2:00 – 3:30 PM ET
Join the Clean Energy States Alliance as they highlight the California Energy Commission’s New Solar Homes Partnership and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) NY-Sun program. These programs are 2016 State Leadership in Clean Energy Award winners. Guest speakers from the California Energy Commission and NYSERDA will discuss how their programs positively affect their states’ solar markets and facilitate consumer access to more sustainable and environmentally friendly homes. Q&A to follow.

Save the Date! NARC’s 2016 Executive Directors Conference and Board Retreat
September 18-21 – South Bend, IN
Please join NARC and the Michiana Area Council of Governments this September in South Bend, IN for the annual Executive Directors Conference that is designed by and for Executive Directors of Councils of Governments and Metropolitan Planning Organizations. This intimate conference brings executives together to discuss topics ranging from human resources and succession planning to what’s new on the technological horizon. The conference also provides a great opportunity for networking and sharing of information on best practices. This year’s conference will start with a reception on Sunday night and end with the Board of Directors Retreat on Wednesday. The Board Dinner will be Tuesday evening, time and location TBD. Note: Please plan to arrive on Sunday, September 18 as we will not have hotel rooms available on Saturday night.

 

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