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July 10, 2017
Contact: Scott Dadson, Executive Director
828-287-2281, ext. 250

CENSUS UPDATE- 2020 LUCA Assistance

The 2020 LUCA is on its way!  The Local Update of Census Addresses Operation (LUCA) is the only opportunity offered to local governments to review and comment on the U.S. Census Bureau’s residential address list for their jurisdiction.  Municipal and county governments have a chance to participate which can help ensure an accurate census for your community. 

The purpose of the decennial census is not only to appropriate seats to the U.S. House of Representatives.  Census data is used in the distribution of federal funds for over 1,000 programs administered by 26 federal agencies, to provide statistical support for grant applications that fund community and regional development, education, agriculture, energy, and environmental programs, and to help your community better plan for future needs. 

Participating governments are authorized to designate an alternate reviewer such as a regional planning agency to complete their jurisdiction’s LUCA on their behalf.  IPDC is happy to offer LUCA assistance to member governments.  

You will receive an invitation from the U.S. Census Bureau to participate in the 2020 LUCA.  We encourage all member governments to participate in order to ensure our region is properly represented for years to come.  For more information about LUCA or the assistance IPDC can offer, please contact IPDC Executive Director Scott Dadson. 

2020 LUCA Timeline:
July 2017 – An invitation letter and registration forms will be mailed to local governments.
October 2017 – LUCA training workshops will begin (IPDC staff members will be trained). 
February 2018 – Participation materials will be mailed to registered participants.  The materials must be complete within 120 days.
August 2019 – Feedback materials will be offered to participants with the results of Address Canvassing.
April 1, 2020 – Census Day.   
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Please visit the new project website for the Isothermal Regional Bicycle Plan. Learn all about the plan and provide your input through the online survey, public input map, and upcoming events:

McDowell Pipeline Recognized by the State

The McDowell County Workforce Pipeline Committee will receive the 2017 Governor's NCWorks Award of Distinction as an Outstanding Innovative Partnership in October of this year.  The Pipeline Committee is a collective effort by the Governments, Industries, Educational Partners and Region C Workforce Development Board to find creative solutions to developing the current and future workforce in McDowell County.

Continued Vigilance Needed on Federal Budget and its impact on Local Programs

The National Association of Development Organizations (see: ), our advocacy group as a Planning Commission, has put of the following alert regarding the status of programs that the IPDC manages for our membership here in Region C:

NADO Alert: House Appropriations Subcommittees Take Action on FY2018 Bills Funding EDA and Regional Commissions
Last week, the House Appropriations Subcommittees on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) and Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies (E&W) approved their fiscal year (FY) 2018 spending bills. The CJS bill funds all Department of Commerce programs including the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA). The E&W bill funds all federal-state regional commissions.
These bills advanced through their subcommittees in the absence of an overall budget agreement for FY2018 and with a great deal of uncertainty about how much each subcommittee has within its discretion to spend. As such there was a recognition from subcommittee leadership that funding allocations were not sufficient to meet all priorities and support exists for providing additional funds for programs as the appropriations process moves forward.
Recommended Funding for the U.S. Economic Development Administration
The House CJS Appropriations Subcommittee recommends $176 million for EDA, a reduction of $100 million below the FY2017 level. Within this amount, $140 million is allocated for Economic Development Assistance programs and $36 million is designated for salaries and expenses. President Trump’s FY2018 budget request recommended the elimination of EDA.
The breakdown of programmatic funding within Economic Development Assistance has not yet been released and will be made public in advance of the full House Appropriations Committee mark-up of the bill (date to be determined). NADO is working to ensure that planning grants are funded at the highest level possible within the allocation.
During the subcommittee mark-up, several members of the subcommittee spoke about the insufficient funding recommendation for EDA and expressed their desire to see cuts restored. The next step in the process is consideration of the bill by the full House Appropriations Committee which has not yet been scheduled.
Please contact your members of Congress, particularly if they sit on the House or Senate Appropriations Committee (click here to view a list), and ask them to support level funding for EDA in the FY2018 appropriations process.
Recommended Funding for Federal-State Regional Commissions
The House E&W Appropriations Subcommittee recommends the following amounts for federal-state regional commissions:
Appalachian Regional Commission: $130 million, a $22 million decrease from the FY2017 level
Delta Regional Authority: $15 million, a $10 million decrease from the FY2017 level
Denali Commission: $11 million, a $4 million decrease from the FY2017 level
Northern Border Regional Commission: $5 million, a $5 million decrease from the FY2017 level
Southeast Crescent Regional Commission: $250,000, level funding
President Trump’s FY2018 budget request recommended the elimination of all the federal-state regional commissions.
The next step in the process is consideration of the bill by the full House Appropriations Committee which has not yet been scheduled.
NADO will be continuing to advocate on behalf of these programs and work to stave off dramatic cuts for FY2018. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact NADO’s legislative staff.
Susan Howard
Director of Government Relations and Legislative Affairs
National Association of Development Organizations (NADO)
202.624.8590 (office) 202.487.4847 (cell)

Federal Programs, Local Impacts: 

ARC- $4.4 million in funds since 2010 to leverage $9 million in other dollars for projects around Polk, McDowell, and Rutherford Counties

WIOA- Region C Workforce Development Board averages @ $1.3 million per year in our four county region to benefit over 600 people per year in On the Job Training, Dislocated Worker Programs and Youth Programs.  

USDA-Rural Development Programs-Since 2010, USDA has a total of $216,000,000 million in investment in our four county region in the areas of Housing Guarantees, Housing Projects, Community Facilities, Water and Environmental Projects such as public utilities, and Business Development.  These dollars are part of over 1600 projects.

EDA- Over $6 million dollars in EDA Funding has been received in Region C to leverage over $18 million dollars in investments such as the Earl Scruggs Center in Shelby and Workforce Development Centers at Cleveland and Isothermal Community College(s), and infrastructure investment in Marion and McDowell County.
NCDOT Divisions and Districts map with Relevant Contact Information

To see this map and the information on it better, and for more information on Transportation Issues in Region C, go to the Rural Transportation Web site at
    TRANSPORTATION ADVISORY COMMITTEE-Technical Coordinating Committee
    Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 10:30 AM
    IPDC office 111 West Court Street, Rutherfordton, NC
  • Isothermal Rural Planning Organization Transportation- Advisory Committee July 12, 2017 at 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm, IPDC Office 111 West Court Street, Rutherfordton, NC
How important is Transportation in Community, Economic and Workforce Development?

We have been talking here in our newsletter about the Pathways to Economic Development.  In the Regional Economic Development Plan ( ) we talk specifically about housing, transportation, wellness, workforce, Broadband, and utilities.

From a Human and Planning Geography perspective, we consider ourselves rural however, we export over 50% of our workforce out of the region on a daily basis.  From my experience in City and County Management and teaching Urban and Regional Economics, i would call us an Exurb. The definition of Exurb is
"A semi-rural region lying just beyond the suburbs of a city." Exurbs. (n.d.) American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. (2011). Retrieved July 7 2017 from  

What are we an Exurb too?  Charlotte, Upstate South Carolina, Asheville and Hickory. 

What this essentially means, is that we have a heavy transportation cost burden per household. The following article is an overview of this issue and while it is probably a bit biased to an urban perspective, it is worth considering the cost of transportation for the households in Region C as we work to bring jobs and better wages to existing people in Region C.

Next issue we are going to talk about the cost of housing.  As a primer, here is an interesting perspective on the cost of housing in rural america:
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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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