The North Carolina League of Municipalities is a one-stop shop for its members. In practice, this means that we are whatever you—our cities and towns—need us to be. For municipal insurance, we’re your provider. For day-to-day consultation and assistance, we’re in the field and always available. For advocacy at the legislature, for information on best practices, for legal support—for anything that is required, we’re there.
Included in that list of needs is, of course, assistance with the American Rescue Plan (ARP). A generational opportunity, ARP is also a tremendous responsibility, and perhaps no area has required as much attention from our municipalities this past year. It began more than two years ago with our need to tell the story of why cities and towns needed financial relief in the wake of the pandemic. Now, with that relief received through direct federal funding, it is a need to properly leverage those dollars to achieve both recovery and transformational investments.
The issue has shifted, grown, and evolved, and we’ve adapted right along with it. Now, with the support of the N.C. General Assembly, our ability to serve your ARP needs is about to expand tenfold.
In the most recently passed state budget, the North Carolina League of Municipalities was given a substantial appropriation, provided specifically to bolster our ARP offerings. Matching appropriations were also given to the N.C. Association of County Commissioners and the N.C. Councils of Government. The directive: assist all North Carolina communities with every aspect of the American Rescue Plan, from strategic planning to Treasury compliance to accounting needs.
That directive was heard loud and clear. Over the next several months, the League will be rolling out an expansive service line dedicated to the ARP needs of our 540-plus cities and towns. To administer those services, we will be growing, hiring experts in municipal operations, accounting, and grant management.
This is all in addition to what we’re currently offering towards ARP, which is substantial. This includes: an ARP-specific website that has been visited nearly 30,000 times; regional workshops, where local leaders can gather and discuss projects and potential partnerships; webinars with local, state, and federal experts; a dedicated ARP email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) where we have received and answered hundreds (if not thousands) of questions; and numerous information-sharing outreach campaigns, to ensure that no town is left out of the loop on critical updates.
We are privileged to have done this work for our cities and towns, and we are proud that state lawmakers have entrusted in us the opportunity to do even more. The American Rescue Plan represents a significant moment for our state. There is no group more capable of meeting the challenge than our cities and towns. The League is here to support you every step on the way.