Making the Census Count: How Regions Can Help

Although 2020 is a few years away, preparations are already in full swing for the next Census. The groundwork that the U.S. Census Bureau is laying out today will affect the accuracy of the 2020 Census across the country. The Census Bureau is up against a significant accuracy issue: past Census reports have historically undercounted certain populations in the United States. These groups include young children, minorities, and low-income communities. The Census Bureau is once again concerned about this problem occurring in the next decennial Census count. Why is this significant for NARC members? The George Washington Institute of Policy reports that there are several hundred federal financial assistance programs and sixteen large federal programs that rely on Census data to disperse funds to states and local areas. These programs include funding for housing, health care, transportation, education, and food assistance that your communities rely on. The Census count also… Read More Making the Census Count: How Regions Can Help

The Opioid Crisis Was Declared a National Emergency: Here’s How Local Governments Can Help

Two weeks ago, the Trump Administration issued a statement that directed the executive branch to “use all appropriate emergency and other authorities to respond to the crisis caused by the opioid epidemic.” This declaration couldn’t have come any sooner. The National Center for Health Statistics reported that in the third quarter of 2016, overdose deaths reached a record-breaking 19.9 people per 100,000. If this trend continues, our localities will need all the help the federal government can offer to battle this growing epidemic. How bad is the opioid epidemic? While education on the opioid crisis is getting better in the U.S., the crisis itself is still quite severe and doesn’t show significant signs of slowing. The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) data shows a sharp increase in overdose deaths in the first nine months of 2016. In 2015, the last full year of data available, the Centers for Disease… Read More The Opioid Crisis Was Declared a National Emergency: Here’s How Local Governments Can Help

To Sell or Not to Sell? Small Local Governments Look at Privatizing their Public Water Systems

According to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates, the United States needs over $600 billion for water infrastructure improvements over the next 20 years. The American Society of Civil Engineers has given the United States a “D” grade on their Drinking Water Infrastructure Report Card, citing the older age of many of the country’s pipelines, the large number of water main breaks, and the likelihood of contamination, especially in smaller water systems. On Monday The Washington Post highlighted that the idea of water privatization has left small and mid-size communities, many of which are already struggling with budget deficits, with a tough choice. Should these local governments continue to manage and maintain their own public water systems? Or is selling their water system to a private corporation a more reasonable option? Federal Funding or Lack Thereof It is unclear how much help towns will receive from the federal government for water… Read More To Sell or Not to Sell? Small Local Governments Look at Privatizing their Public Water Systems

NARC in the News: Route Fifty National Conference of Regions Coverage

Reporters from Route Fifty attended NARC’s National Conference of Regions this week and interviewed NARC’s Director of Transportation Programs, Erich Zimmermann, on infrastructure funding and the MPO Coordination Rule. They also attended and covered two different sessions at the conference on NARC’s Fleets for the Future grant program and infrastructure funding.