Next Board Meeting
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August 10, 2020
Contact: Scott Dadson, Executive Director
828-287-2281, ext. 250

Upcoming Meetings and Events

A Meeting of the IPDC Executive Commission Executive Committee will be held on Thursday, August 13, 2020 at 12:00 noon via an electronic meeting. The Town of Rutherfordton, Rutherford County & State of North Carolina is under a State of Emergency with provisions for social distancing, limits on gatherings, and stay at home orders. The IPDC, under North Carolina General Statue 143-318.13 will host an electronic meeting. The meeting will be recorded and placed on the IPDC Website at 
For those wishing to speak during the public comment period, the public can submit written comments to the Executive Director at no later than 1 hour before the start of the meeting. The Executive Director will then read public comments into the record during the meeting.

For the Agenda Packet, Click Here.

Isothermal Housing Task Force

The Isothermal Housing Task Force will meet on August 11 at 2:00 PM on Zoom. Task Force members will receive a Zoom meeting invite via email. If you are not a Task Force member but would like to attend the meeting, please click here to contact Sarah Kopkin.

Regional News

North Carolina to Remain in Phase 2 until September 11

On August 5, Governor Cooper announced that North Carolina will extend “Safer At Home Phase 2” through 5 p.m. on Sept. 11, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For FAQs on the order and more information, please click here

2020 Census Timeline Change

With the onset of COVID, 2020 Census operations were paused. The US Census Bureau has therefore reduced the response deadline to September 30, 2020

Currently in North Carolina:
  • 41% of households have not been counted
  • Over 4 million North Carolina residents have not been counted
  • $7.4 billion in annual funding are at risk due to Census non-response
Census workers have less time to count the non-responding population.  Now is the time for community leaders to make sure that everyone is counted!  The 2020 Census count will impact funding, services, and planning for the next 10 years. Click here to be counted!
Rural America is for Millennial's
Yes, it is! Just ask Stephanie Rzonca of the Rutherford County Economic Development Corporation and a Board member with IPDC. Stephanie grew up in Fayetteville and attended Appalachian State University. Wanting a rural experience was intentional for Stephanie. 

After reading an article on millennial in rural and small town America, Stephanie went on about her experience in Rutherford County “This is extremely similar to my own personal experience of moving to a rural community. I have an opportunity to contribute, make a meaningful life for myself, and enjoy the perks of WNC without a hefty cost of the living price tag. I'd encourage any millennial or recent college grad to give living rural a shot!" 

Stephanie started with the Rutherford Farmers Market and transitioned to the Rutherfordton Main Street Program. Stephanie is now a "Business Development Coordinator" with Rutherford County Economic Development working with the existing industry.

 For the full article check out


Economic & Workforce Development

New Job Retention Grant Program 
Accepting Applications Soon

A new grant program will soon be available that could help certain businesses or non-profit organizations impacted by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The new Job Retention Grant (JRG) Program is part of House Bill 1023, which was signed into law on July 1. The JRG program utilizes the Coronavirus Relief Fund to provide economic relief to North Carolina businesses and nonprofits negatively impacted by the public health emergency.

The maximum grant amount may be up to two months of the eligible entity's average monthly payroll costs from 2019 plus an additional 25% of that amount. The grant amount may not exceed $250,000.

The total of all funds granted under the Job Retention Grant Program may not exceed $15 million. If the total amount of grants requested by qualified applicants exceeds the maximum amount of funds available, each grant award will be reduced on a proportionate basis. Review the eligibility requirements for the JRG program at the Commerce website.

Click Here to Contact IPDC Staff to Discuss Grant Opportunities


Rural Transportation

Isothermal Region receives Several Honors in the 2020 NCDOT Mobi Awards!

Innovation Winner: REACH Transit in Shelby
The project was nominated by the Transportation Administration of Cleveland County, Inc. REACH Transit is a fixed route that runs in Shelby. Residents use this public transportation lifeline to get to medical facilities and pharmacies, grocery stores, and a community college. Many people were unable to access these places previously. View our video on this year’s Innovation winner.
Rural Honorable Mention: REACH Transit in Shelby
Tourism Honorable Mention: Thermal Belt Rail Trail: Connecting Great Small Towns
Most Voted Honorable Mention: Thermal Belt Rail Trail: Connecting Great Small Towns (Over 11,000 votes!) 

The N.C. Department of Transportation honored communities today that developed the state’s best multimodal projects, including a public transportation service in Shelby and a bridge with a multi-use path connecting Surf City to Topsail Island.

The NCDOT Mobi Awards, which started last year, honor transportation projects that improve the economy and enhance the quality of life in North Carolina communities. Projects had to combine the use of at least two transportation modes such as aviation, bicycle, pedestrian, ferry, public transportation, rail, and roadway.

More than 60 projects competed in this year’s NCDOT Mobi Awards.  
 “Whether we’re building bike and walking paths, making it more convenient for people to use public transportation or finding new ways to safely accommodate travelers on our highways, multimodal projects are an important piece of our transportation present and future,” said state Transportation Secretary Eric Boyette. “And it’s why we’re here today – to celebrate your commitment to multimodal investments and the important role they play in our way of life.”   Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Mobi Awards were presented virtually and are available on NCDOT’s YouTube Channel

Judges selected winners and honorable mentions from the following categories: Rural, Urban, Tourism and Innovation. For a new category, Most Voted Project, all this year’s entries were placed online so the public could vote for a First-Place winner and an honorable mention.  

The 2020 NCDOT Mobi Book, which has detailed descriptions and pictures of all this year’s entries, can be found online.  

Judges selected this year's top projects based on how well projects leveraged public and private investment, contributed to economic development, created long-term jobs, improved public health and quality of life, and made other significant contributions.   The event’s organizers were NCDOT, the North Carolina Triangle Chapter of Women’s Transportation Seminar, N.C. Go!, and N.C. State University Institute for Transportation Research and Education.

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Isothermal Planning and Development Commission
111 West Court Street Rutherfordton, NC 28139
Phone: (828) 287-2281
Fax: (828) 287-2735

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Isothermal Planning and Development Commission · 111 West Court Street · Post Office Box 841 · Rutherfordton, NC 28139 · USA

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