Regional Community Development News – January 23, 2012

     Multi-jurisdictional intentional regional communities are, in all cases, “Greater Communities” where “community motive” is at work at a more than a local scale. This newsletter provides a scan of regional community, cooperation and collaboration activity as reported in news media and blogs. 
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 1. Chamber urges regional approach to job creation ~ The Chillicothe Gazette. OH
Reed … county's lead on economic development, said he thinks the best way to attracting employers to Pike County is through regional cooperation.
He said the days of recruiting a manufacturing company to provide major employment through assembly work are long gone.
Reed encouraged Pike leaders to work closely with the Economic Development Alliance of Southern Ohio, based in Ross County, and other regional development groups.
"We need to work together to market our area," he said. "Ross, Jackson, Pike and Scioto counties have a lot to offer."
Reed said the widening of the Panama Canal will bring bigger ships into the Gulf of Mexico, up the Mississippi River and down the Ohio River past Portsmouth. Changes to railroad systems also will allow double-stacked containers to travel from ports on the east coast to hubs such as Rickenbacker Airport.
"We don't need a savior from Columbus or (Washington) D.C., we have the resources right here," Reed said.
 2. New regional WNC cycling plan underway ~  Carolina Public Press
… N.C. Department of Transportation grant awarded to the Land-of-Sky Regional Council to coordinate a regional cycling plan, know as the Blue Ridge Bike Plan that includes Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Madison, Swain and Transylvania counties.
… The effort also has the support of advocates and several transportation organizations across the region: the Southwestern Rural Planning Organization, the Land-of-Sky Rural Planning Organization and the French Broad River Metropolitan Planning Organization. …
The study’s aim is to not only coordinate existing local and county bike plans, but also to assess the region’s current network of facilities for cyclists and formulate future policy recommendations to guide local and regional transportation investments and improvements.
One potential outcome of the planning process is a plan for long-term improvements that will create safe and useful recreational and transportation cycling routes throughout the region. …
Members of the Greater Atlantic City Chamber met Monday night and recommitted themselves to advocating for local businesses and "reinvigorating" the area's struggling economy.
"We want to take a leadership role within the county in terms of economic development," chamber President Joseph Kelly said during the organization's annual meeting, held at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.
Kelly asked members to read the chamber's 2012-13 business plan, which included an outline of goals for the organization.
"The chamber understands the importance of planning," he said. "A good goal, to me, have a yes or no answer at the end of the day."
  4. Councils will have to look at regional water system - Drayton Valley Western Review
A new water treatment plant is a necessity for the Town of Drayton Valley, but they’re hoping a solution to getting more grant funding can be found in regional collaboration with Brazeau County.
Water and wastewater was one of the areas the two municipalities agreed to work together on as part of the 2010 Annexation Settlement Agreement. A regional water/wastewater feasibility study was completed last October. Last week at the first joint council meeting of the year both municipalities heard some of the costs and logistics from their consultants.
A regional system would eventually have the capability to provide municipal water to the Town of Drayton Valley as well as Rocky Rapids, Poplar Ridge and Violet Grove with the potential for service to some rural areas in lands identified in the Intermunicpal Development Plan. …
A yearlong, community conversation is underway in Montgomery County that could shape the way government operates, the scope of public services here and transformation of the economy.
“This is more than a discussion about regionalism. We hope it will bring citizens together to talk about what is our future,” Montgomery County Administrator Deborah Feldman said.
In June, the county commission hired Ohio-based consultant Burges & Burges Strategists to conduct forums on all aspects of regionalism.
That idea has evolved to include public meetings on county challenges and opportunities; the economy and jobs and, public services.
WSU and the University of Dayton also will study best practices used in communities facing challenges similar to Montgomery County and with similar populations.
“Common sense tells us, maybe we need some changes to survive,” Montgomery County Commissioner Deborah Lieberman said, “I think these changes should be community driven.”
Governor Jack Dalrymple continues to meet with county and city leaders from throughout western North Dakota and he has directed state agencies to begin a series of working meetings with the goal of creating a greater understanding of the region’s soil impacts, coordinating local and state responses and to provide updates on state efforts to help meet the region’s needs.
Local officials and representatives from the North Dakota Department of Commerce, Housing and Finance Agency, Department of Transportation, Department of Trust Lands, State Water Commission, State Health Department, Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute and Highway Patrol will participate in the working sessions. …
Commerce Commissioner Al Anderson said northwestern North Dakota s oil-producing counties are experiencing challenges in infrastructure relating to the significant growth in jobs, industry, population and wages in their communities.
A Fibershed is a geographical landscape that defines and gives boundaries to a natural textile resource base. Awareness of this bioregional designation engenders appreciation, connectivity, and sensitivity for the life-giving resources within our homelands.
How did the Fibershed project start?
In the spring of 2010, Rebecca Burgess began a personal one-year challenge to live in clothes whose fibers and dyes were sourced within 150 miles of her home in San Geronimo, California, and dubbed it the Fibershed project. …
The Future
We envision a region where the life giving systems from which we depend are enhanced and regenerated through the process of textile manufacturing. Fairly paid farmers …
Our Mission
Fibershed empowers, educates, and networks the region’s farmers and artisans in the design, implementation, and use of a bioregionally-based, renewable-energy-powered supply chain. Fibershed exists to support innovations within our region, …
 8. In Tennessee, All Innovation Is Regional - The Atlantic Cities
Note: all #substate #multicounty #regions #not #metropolitan
As states and metropolitan areas fight to regain ground lost during the economic downturn, the ability to innovate is proving increasingly crucial. Innovation allows economies to adapt as new technologies emerge. … A strong innovation ecosystem facilitates the design of new products and the development of new production processes. Without it, states and metros will find themselves lagging behind in the next economy.
Recognizing the role that innovation will play in stimulating job creation and economic recovery in the decades ahead, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s INCITE initiative seeks to position his state as a innovation-driven job growth leader by enhancing innovation capacity. As part of Haslam’s larger Jobs4TN economic development plan, this $50 million program will foster innovation, expedite commercialization of new technologies and products and support entrepreneurship in e
Note: Newspaper use of regional name which reinforces regional community identity.
Who knows best which roads and bridges in Tuscaloosa need fixing? The local residents who drive those roads, of course. But a bill working its way through the U.S. Senate would erode the local influence on highway projects.
The bill, known by the sunny title “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act,” provides money for highway construction that we need to boost the economy. It also has at least one bad element. It would re-define groups known as Metropolitan Planning Organizations, limiting them only to urban areas of at least 200,000 people.
That cuts out Tuscaloosa,… and many other medium-sized cities across Alabama … half of the MPOs today are in places of less than 200,000 people.
A 2009 report by the federal General Accounting Office found problems with MPOs. The GAO said they often were not effective because they didn’t have well-trained staff and they weren’t focused on results. But the report didn’t identify the size of MPOs as a key problem.
Read the Full Report: Metropolitan Planning Organizations: Options Exist to Enhance Transportation Planning Capacity and Oversight (GAO-09-868)
11. Region mobilizes for high-tech future ~
Jennifer Menard likes to think of this moment in SouthCoast history as a rising ground swell of momentum….
As executive director of the SouthCoast Development Partnership, she's had a hand in marketing the region's strengths to industries as diverse as biotech and marine science. So she knows from experience that this point in time … didn't arise overnight.
"It goes back to the '80s when we had the Southeastern Massachusetts partnership of five cities," said Shafer. "Back then I think the region became more visible because it was more unified in its state request for services and such. … Southeastern Massachusetts regional approach was very beneficial and the subset for the SouthCoast to concentrate on the greater New Bedford and greater Fall River areas …
"I think the region overall has had tremendous growth in acceptance and visibility, especially from companies who are looking for lower operational costs. We've come a long way, but there is still a lot to do."
12. Our No. 1 problem - JSOnline
Our region continues to lose private-sector jobs at an alarming rate. There is no greater solution to poverty than job creation.
What could Wisconsin and our region do to reverse our declining fortunes?
Ohio built its job growth strategy around innovation. The Greater Milwaukee Committee invited the leaders of the Third Frontier to tell their story because their job creation metrics are very impressive.
As Steve Jobs once famously said when he was brought in to reverse Apple Computer's decline: "The only way to survive is to innovate our way out of this."
Let's look at where jobs come from. This is from Inc. Magazine's annual event honoring entrepreneurs:
Of this 2011's Inc. 500 honorees, 488 companies added jobs from 2007 to 2010. … Wisconsin did not have one company on the list of the 500 fastest-growing companies in America. No wonder we have a problem!
The Milwaukee 7 regional economic development group is the best thing that has happened to this region in economic development …
13. Township mayors optimistic about growth - The Orillia Packet & Times - Ontario
The changes announced to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe … cautious optimism about the region’s future developments.
While Mayor Harry Hughes was pleased with Infrastructure Ontario’s redefining of how population and employment growth will proceed in the area, he is anxious to read the fine print.
“We’ve seen the outside and kicked the tires, but we haven’t seen under the hood,” Hughes said.
“We heard all the right words. Until we actually take the regulations and apply them… we don’t know what the implication will be.”
Under the changes to Proposed Amendment 1 — a modification within the master plan meant to address development in Simcoe County — land around Oro-Medonte’s Lake Simcoe Regional Airport and near Rama Road in Ramara Township gained economic employment district status.
“There are regulations that go with a policy. It isn’t until you see the regulations that you know how much flexibility in local planning there really is,” Hughes said.
What is the Greater Golden Horseshoe?
The Greater Golden Horseshoe is the large urban region centred on the City of Toronto and stretching around the western end of Lake Ontario. The region covers approximately 32,000 square kilometres or 12,355 square miles.
It is made up of 21 counties, regions and separated cities, and altogether comprises 110 municipal jurisdictions.
The communities in the Greater Golden Horseshoe range from large cities like Toronto, Mississauga and Hamilton to mid-size cities and towns, as well as small rural villages and hamlets.
Northern Kentucky leaders aim to leverage the region’s brainpower and business clout to create new high-paying jobs – and become the nation’s next great technology hub.
… launch UpTech, a business accelerator program expected to bring the world’s best and brightest technology entrepreneurs to Northern Kentucky. With the aid of Northern Kentucky University’s College of Informatics and more than 40 of the region’s top companies, …
Leveraging a $5 million investment fund, UpTech will nurture 50 tech start-ups in the region over the next three to five years. …
Each startup will receive up to $100,000 in seed money and hands-on mentoring from a team of local companies picked to fit their specific needs. …
The program is designed to build an “entrepreneurial ecosystem” among local businesses, universities and investors that encourages, funds and mentors entrepreneurs with great ideas. Business leaders say that ecosystem is essential – yet still deficient in the region – …
15. Catalytic Philanthropy - Foundation Strategy Group
Catalytic Philanthropy-Community foundations are #regional #community resources-Can the dots be connected?
For too long, state leaders have crafted economic development plans that act like regions don’t matter. Resources have been spread thin across states, with decisions based on politics rather than pragmatism. Such efforts have produced lackluster results at best; the repeated failure to build on individual regions’ distinctive assets represents a series of opportunities missed.
Across the United States, a handful of governors and state legislatures have come to the realization that state economic development efforts must be attentive to the particularities of regions and metropolitan areas. These leaders are working with their regions to craft and implement innovative bottom-up economic development strategies that prize local knowledge and regional strengths over something-for-everyone approaches of the past.
In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is implementing a truly regional approach to economic development. He established 10 Regional Economic Development Councils …
17. Carmel River deadline looms - California - WaterWorld
With a state deadline looming to reduce pumping from the Carmel River, and related litigation… in the wake of the failed Regional Desalination Project, local officials say the search for a workable alternative water supply must be done quickly but thoroughly.
While there has been little, if any, indication that California water officials will relax the cutback deadline of 2016, there is still hope that progress on a solution could prompt some concessions from the state. The key, local officials say, is regional cooperation, public participation and a full review of all possible alternatives.
... Monterey Mayor Chuck Della Sala said he is encouraged by the opportunity for local officials, led by Peninsula mayors, to get involved with a water supply project this time around, noting they were largely excluded from helping formulate the regional project. Six Peninsula cities are considering whether to form a joint powers authority … in the search for an alternative solution
In late June, a decision in the 20-year-old legal battle between Georgia, Florida and Alabama laid to rest any doubt about the operation of Buford Dam for metro Atlanta’s water supply. …
The court’s decision frees the three states to proactively answer this question, together with the corps.
Thankfully, metro Atlanta and Georgia have already benefited from wise water planning. During the past decade, metro Atlanta has become a national leader in water stewardship. The Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District, created by the Georgia General Assembly in 2001, has worked with local governments, water and wastewater utilities and stakeholders to develop comprehensive regional water resources plans. The district mandates 19 conservation measures, including conservation pricing … water system leak detection and repair.
These measures are paying off for metro Atlanta. While the region grew by a million people over the past decade, per-capita water use decreased by 14 percent.
… Mayor Dick Kirchoff and City Administrator Scott Langel laid out benefits they see for continued membership in the Northwest Iowa Developers group.
Kirchoff said he understood the supervisors' hesitation because he, too, had heard comments that Northwest Iowa Developers group is waste of time and money.
"I'm going to take just one company or industry because it's a proven fact how the money you've spent has helped in this county,"
He explained how Northwest Iowa Developers group paid for a survey to compare Iowa's taxes to that of other states prior to IML Containers Iowa's decision to locate in Le Mars.
"It boiled down to tax operations and the way the Northwest Iowa Developers went out and hired an accounting firm to the tune of $20,000," Kirchoff said. "When they did this, they did not come back and ask the county for more money."
Since coming to Le Mars, IML Containers Iowa has brought the county a return on its membership in the regional economic development group …
Note: Regional is two or more cooperating across a boundary.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Thursday he wants to create a 13-member authority that would bolster development efforts in Hartford and East Hartford, …
The authority would replace the Capital City Economic Development Authority, or CCEDA, which Rowland formed in 1998 to oversee six redevelopment projects in Hartford. …
"What we've done here is expand the scope and make it more regional-focused, and I think that will help the city," said Catherine Smith, commissioner of economic and community development. …
… It would seek to attract new businesses to the region, officials said, and coordinate operations at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Rentschler Field in East Hartford and the XL Center — the former Civic Center — in the heart of downtown Hartford.
"Currently, we're operating facilities as if they're competitors — and I want that to end," Malloy said …
The Long Island Index delivered both good and bad news … . Its survey showed that 61 percent of Long Islanders are having problems paying their rent or mortgages. But in rolling out its ninth annual report, the Index -- a data-gathering project of the Rauch Foundation -- held out hope that we may finally be on the verge of a regional collaboration to create a high-tech cluster like Boston or San Diego.
That kind of breakthrough could bring an influx of high-paying jobs and prosperous new firms that could bear more of the property tax burden, so that homeowners don't have to pay as much. ...
We already have top-flight research institutions …
What we don't yet have -- and can't succeed without -- is a cohesive regional effort to link science with venture capital and new firms that arise from research done right here. Without that collaboration, we'll continue to create exciting new businesses that leave Long Island, growing to maturity -- and paying taxes -- elsewhere.
22. Economic Development Group Targets Rural Indiana ~ News - Indiana Public Media
Money for economic development is normally filtered down from the state or federal level. But not anymore in some parts of the state.
Radius Indiana is a regional collaboration created to support businesses in eight Southern Indiana counties. At the group’s annual meeting president R.J. Reynolds announced the creation of a regional impact fund to distribute money and help businesses find additional grants.
“We will be the first point of contact, if you will, for regional impact funds that are generated through gate receipts from the resort here in French Lick,” Reynolds says.
So businesses will now have a separate fund they can apply to for assistance instead of competing with companies around Indiana for state-level grants.
Reynolds says a panel will review development proposals and decide which projects receive assistance. Daviess County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Ron Arnold says the panelists will be more in touch with the needs of regional business owners.
The metro area’s next big leap forward could be the development of a bioscience corridor between Des Moines and Ames.
Business leaders say that melding Iowa State University’s science and research with other expertise that already exists in the metro area could result in a replication of the success that insurance and finance have enjoyed over the past two decades, when 31,000 jobs were added statewide.
“It’s an opportunity not just for central Iowa, but all of Iowa,” says Steven Zumbach, a Des Moines attorney and Greater Des Moines Partnership business leader. “Bioscience is a game changer. It aligns rural and urban interests.”
… one of 10 Capital Crossroads initiatives that the Greater Des Moines Partnership begins laying the groundwork for in earnest this year.
Add business development, wellness, education, developing Des Moines’ core — from reducing downtown commercial space to revitalizing its neighborhoods — and you get a sense of the Partnership’s agenda for next year.
 “Transit holds the key to a successful and prosperous region,” said Metropolitan Council Chair Susan Haigh while delivering her first State of the Region speech. Several hundred people attended the State of the Region event at Target Field in Minneapolis, … role of transit in economic development and job creation.
“Our vision is to work together to continue to build a 21st century regional transit system with expanding regional services that connect people to and from work, school and home, and to work together to strategically support economic development along transitways that will produce robust local economies and grow jobs,” …
Haigh also focused on the need for the public and private sectors to work together to support transit and transit funding. She praised business leaders, foundations, CTIB members, local elected officials, legislators and members of Congress who have worked together with a common purpose and a shared vision of a globally competitive, 21st century region.
… In the mid-1970s, when the environmental movement was gathering steam, Gov. Dick Lamm removed the one section of Denver’s beltway that had been identified as an Interstate from the federal system, which in effect took federal authorities out of the picture for the whole distance.
That changed everything — making the belt’s future more locally controlled, and more dependent on private financing and tolls, said Steven D. Rudy, the transportation director at the Denver Regional Council of Governments, a planning organization. And with many local governments in the region involved in deciding where the belt should go and how to pay for it, the result was probably more democratic, too, he said, however messy the process became.
“It was about the Denver region deciding it was something it wanted done and doing it itself,” Mr. Rudy said.
“According to our studies, it would not make that much difference to traffic,” said Golden’s mayor, Marjorie Sloan.
26. Leslie Richards Selected for DVRPC - Bryn Mawr-Gladwyne, PA Patch
Last month, Leslie Richards was a Whitemarsh Township Supervisor. After winning election last November, she became a Montgomery County Commissioner on January 3. By the end of the month, she'll be shaping transportation policy in nine counties and two states.
Richards, who has been a planning consultant for 17 years, was selected by her fellow commissioners on Thursday to be Montgomery County's representative on the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), which plans, directs and allocates funds for transportation projects that serve more than 5.6 million people across the greater Philadelphia area. She will join representatives from 17 other state, county, and municipal bodies as voting members of the DVRPC board.
Board Chairman Josh Shapiro believes Richards's professional background will give her an advantage in the DVRPC's administration.
… communities are the engines of innovation for local governance, the revival of cultures and global economic renewal. Following the implementation of broadband and IT centric strategies, there has followed a slow but accelerating return of “no name communities.” These are communities considered in decline not long ago, where today economic and social wealth are being created while the giants stagger. 2011 also demonstrated to me that the process to rebuild cultures into more civil, open societies, while giving the term “tribe” a positive definition, also took another step in the right direction.
This all continues to move ahead without national governments leading the way. It is also a movement which does not seek institutional embrace. Too many institutions continue to malfunction. In 2011 the carnage from an economic transformation that has been taking place for nearly 40 years persisted. … ICF … continues to chronicle, a world of communities confidently and purposefully …
The fact that the Obama administration approved Texas' request for a waiver from federal Medicaid rules was itself a surprise.
Under the five-year waiver granted in December, Texas will continue to receive Medicaid UPL money while increasing the number of Texans moving into managed care.
Texas needs that money, especially after the Legislature made deep cuts in Medicaid during last year's session, including an 8 percent cut in payments to hospitals.
Under the waiver, the state will move almost 1 million additional Medicaid enrollees into privately run managed care while still receiving billions in federal matching funds for hospitals.
But how hospitals receive those supplemental payments under the plan created by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission will change. The federal funds will go into a pool for Regional Healthcare Partnerships.
For the hospitals to dip into that pool, they will have to cooperate with the anchor hospitals that supervise the funds …
MISO announced today its annual Value Proposition study, which details between $2.2 and $2.7 billion in quantitative benefits that MISO provided for the region in 2011. The regional transmission organization provides these benefits through its ongoing grid reliability and efficiency measures.
After launching the energy-only market in 2005, the value MISO adds to the region became apparent. To quantify this value, MISO – in collaboration with its stakeholders – created the MISO Value Proposition. The annual Value Proposition study began in 2007 and quantifies the value MISO provides to the region, including MISO market participants and their customers. The Value Proposition study does not calculate the value for any individual market sector or state.
MISO ensures reliable operation of, and equal access to high-voltage power lines in 11 U.S. states and the Canadian province of Manitoba.
2011 Value Proposition -
... reports last week that the Government is considering the case for a new hub airport in the Thames Estuary. Retaining the UK’s aviation hub status is vital if we are to reassert Britain’s role as an international gateway.
But to benefit the whole country, a new airport must be part of an integrated plan to transform the country’s infrastructure.
Our Thames Hub vision is a UK-wide initiative bringing together high-speed rail, freight logistics, aviation, energy, a new Thames Barrier for flood protection, green tidal energy production and regional development.
The proposal was met with a mixture of enthusiastic support and criticism from opponents who claim it would be too expensive and damaging to the environment. One local councillor even denounced it as ‘pie in the sky’. ...
The planning of infrastructure is an act of confidence – in ourselves and generations to come. Nineteenth Century innovators anticipated growth and future needs which they could not even define at the time.

31. Hyd's MPC exists only on paper - The Times of India
Do you know that in Hyderabad, we are supposed to have a Metropolitan Planning Committee in place to prepare and oversee the implementation of development plans for our metropolitan region? The fact is that, despite enacting AP Metropolitan Planning Committee (MPC) Act, the state government has been dragging its feet in constituting this statutory body for Hyderabad Metropolitan Region (HMR) in the last four years. …
In the absence of this representative body at the apex level, Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority (HMDA) functions as an all-powerful authority under the stewardship of bureaucrats and, not surprisingly, it is hardly responsive or answerable to the elected representatives, whether they be MPs or legislators. MPC is mandated to prepare the draft development plan for metropolitan area. Since the state government has not constituted the MPC, HMDA has been formulating and notifying the development plans … for different components of metropolitan area. ...
Malaysia and Indonesia have agreed on a permanent regional secretariat to look into issues of sustainable marine development, resources management, research and development projects and income improvement of coastal communities between the two countries.
The Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI) regional secretariat will be set up in Manado, Indonesia.
Malaysia's Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Dr Maximus Ongkili and the republic's Marine Affairs and Fisheries Minister Sharif Cicip Sutarjo met ...
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