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Building 310, Suite 165
Austin, TX 78744

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In the News: News from November 2015

CAPCOG assists in disaster recovery, resiliency planning

Monday, November 23, 2015

Using funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA), CAPCOG is in the beginning stages of mitigation and resiliency planning for communities in the eight counties affected by the May 2015 storms — Bastrop, Blanco, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Travis, and Williamson.

The first stages of the project focus on data collection and damage assessment to help quantify the impact of the May storms. CAPCOG has already met with the federal team responsible for economic recovery support, which includes representatives from the EDA, FEMA, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Army Corp of Engineers. The intent is to coordinate with those organizations along with local government agencies to build upon data they have already collected. CAPCOG has also begun conversations with emergency management coordinators in Blanco, Hays, and Caldwell counties to establish processes for collecting additional information and coordinating efforts going forward.

Once the data collection process is completed, the next stage of the program will be an impact evaluation before moving to the mitigation and resiliency planning. The final planning effort will identify geographic areas of mitigation interest, target areas without proper mitigation, and enhance short-term recovery and long-term resiliency. The plan will help identify future projects that mitigate disaster risk and also promote economic development, the projects’ possible funding opportunities from EDA and other sources, and work to prioritize those projects.

CAPCOG received an EDA grant of $150,000, to be distributed over two years, to conduct the disaster recovery project.

> Discover CAPCOG's Economic Development Program.
> Learn about CAPCOG's GIS Program.

Water Development Board offers jurisdictions assistance with water plan projects

Thursday, November 19, 2015
Source: Texas Water Development Board

The Texas Water Development Board announced it will accept applications for the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (Swift) that helps finance water projects.

SWIFT provides affordable, ongoing state financial assistance for projects in the state water plan. The fund helps communities develop and optimize water supplies at cost-effective rates. The program provides low-interest loans, extended repayment terms, deferral of loan repayments, and incremental repurchase terms for projects with state ownership aspects.

Any political subdivision of the state with a project included in the adopted regional water plans and that will be included in the state water plan can apply for assistance through this program.

  • Political subdivisions include:
  • Non-profit water supply corporations
  • Municipalities
  • Counties
  • River authorities
  • Special law districts
  • Water improvement districts
  • Water control and improvement districts
  • Irrigation districts
  • Groundwater conservation districts

Eligible projects are recommended water management strategies in the adopted regional water plans and that will be included in the state water plan, and have an associated capital cost.

> Read more about SWIFT.
> Review the 2015 SWIFT savings.

TCEQ schedules Emissions Reductions Incentive Grant workshops

Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Source: Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality will hold seven grant application workshops for its Texas Emissions Reduction Plan, Emissions Reduction Incentive Grants (ERIG) program throughout December to include one Austin workshop on Dec. 10.

The ERIG program funds the upgrade or replacement of older heavy-duty vehicles, non-road equipment, and stationary equipment. Each workshop will provide an overview of program requirements and the application process. Workshops are free of charge and registration is not required.

ERIG is eligible to any person who operates or plans to operate on-road heavy-duty vehicles, non-road equipment, or stationary engines primarily in one or more of the eligible counties. For infrastructure projects, persons owning or operating the infrastructure in an eligible county may also be eligible for funding.

Applicants can include individuals, corporations, organizations, governments or governmental subdivisions or agencies, school districts, business trusts, partnerships, associations, or any other legal entity. Applicants must have the legal authority to dispose of the vehicle being replaced.

Eligible CAPCOG counties for the grant include: Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and Williamson.

Application submissions will have a 5 p.m., Feb. 2, 2016 deadline.

Austin: Dec. 10, 2015
9:30 a.m. Dealer Workshop
1:30 p.m. Applicant Workshop
TCEQ's Austin Office 
Building E, Room 254S
12100 Park 35 Circle
Austin, TX 78753

> Get the grant application.
> Learn more about TERP.
> Discover CAPCOG’s Air Quality Program.

Other workshops:

El Paso: Dec. 3, 2015
1:30-4:30 p.m. Applicant Workshop 
El Paso Public Library-Main Branch
501 North Oregon Street
El Paso, TX 79901

Arlington: Dec. 7, 2015
9:30 a.m. Dealer Workshop
1:30 p.m. Applicant Workshop
North Central Texas Council of Governments
616 Six Flags Drive
Arlington, TX 76011

Longview: Dec. 8, 2015
1:30 p.m. Applicant Workshop
Longview Public Library
222 West Cotton Street
Longview, TX 75601

San Antonio: Dec. 14, 2015
9:30 a.m. Dealer Workshop
1:30 p.m. Applicant Workshop
Alamo Area Council of Governments 
8700 Tesoro Drive, Suite 700 
San Antonio, TX 78217

Corpus Christi: Dec. 15, 2015
1:30 p.m. Applicant Workshop
TCEQ Region 14 Office 
NRC Bldg., Ste. 1200
6300 Ocean Dr., Unit 5839
Corpus Christi, Texas 78412

Houston: Dec. 15, 2015
9:30 a.m. Dealer Workshop 
1:30 p.m. Applicant Workshop 
6 p.m. Applicant Workshop (en Español)
Tracy Gee Community Center
3599 Westcenter Drive
Houston, TX 77042

Beaumont: Dec. 16, 2015
1:30 p.m. Applicant Workshop
Southeast Texas Regional Planning Commission
2210 Eastex Freeway
Beaumont, Texas 77703

AAACAP assists with Medicare

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Seniors can face difficult decisions when changing their Medicare plans during the federal program’s open enrollment period. The Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area Medicare benefit counselors can aid beneficiaries in determining which plan options may best fulfill their needs.

Since Medicare Open Enrollment began on Oct. 15, AAACAP benefit counselors have assisted hundreds of adults who are 60 years old or older in CAPCOG’s 10-county region. The counselors specialize in decoding the enrollment process by educating beneficiaries on their Medicare options and assisting them through the process. Changes to Medicare plans can save seniors money and enhance their benefits.

Residents seeking help with the open enrollment process should be ready to provide their full name, address and contact number, red-white-and blue Medicare card information, and a list of prescription medications (name of medication, dosage and how often they take it).

The deadline for seniors to change their Medicare plan is Dec. 7, and residents shouldn’t hesitate to get assistance from a benefit counselor at 512-916-6062 or 888-622-9111 ext. 6062. Assistance is available in English and Spanish.

> Read more about Medicare Open Enrollment.
> Discover the Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area.
> Learn more on the Aging and Disability Resource Center of the Capital Area.

November honors Caregivers, brings Alzheimer’s awareness

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Capital Area Council of Governments proclaimed it is joining many communities around the nation who recognize November as National Caregiver and Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month.

“It is important to acknowledge the significant role that family, friends and neighbors play in caring for sick, elderly and disabled relatives,” said Jennifer Scott, director of the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) and the Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) of the Capital Area. 

An estimated 43.5 million caregivers nationwide provide unpaid care, valued at an estimated $450 billion per year, to an adult or child who can’t care for themselves, according to a 2015 AARP and National Alliance for Caregiving report. 

Alzheimer’s disease is a serious public health problem that particularly affects older adults, Scott said. About 1 in 9 older adults have Alzheimer’s or a related dementia. Fifteen percent of people ages 65 to 74 have Alzheimer’s and the percentage increases to 43 for adults between the ages of 75 and 84.

Through services provided by the AAA and ADRC, the Capital Area Council of Governments supports both causes year around with a variety of programs, services, and events. Some of the programs include:

  • The National Family Caregiver Support Program (NFCSP), which provides in-home respite care, voucher respite, mental health services and more services directly to caregivers
  • Stressbusting for Family Caregivers, which helps caregivers with reducing stress and coping with the emotional decisions they are faced with while caring for a person with Alzheimer’s or a chronic disease
  • Caregiver education, which sends a gerontologist into the home for an assessment and family counseling
  • Caregiver educational presentations, which brings lecturers and caregiving experts to communities throughout the region

> Read the Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month Proclamation.
> Read the National Caregiver Awareness Month Proclamation.
> Discover the Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area.
> Discover the Aging and Disability Resource Center of the Capital Area.

CARTPO to discuss Proposition 7 funding, project priorities

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Capital Area Regional Transportation Planning Organization (CARTPO) will discuss the anticipated funding the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will receive from the passing of Proposition 7 as it relates to regional transportation infrastructure projects during its 9:30 a.m., Friday, Nov. 20 meeting.

Proposition 7 will provide a permanent funding stream of about $2.5 billion through state fees to TxDOT for transportation projects starting in 2018. It is being enacted after a constitutional amendment was drafted during the 84th legislative session and authorized by the Senate Joint Resolution 5.

CARTPO members also will reevaluate their local priorities for transportation funding which CARTPO provided to TxDOT in 2014 for consideration in several of the agency’s programs. The programs included the Long-Range Transportation Plan, Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan, Unified Transportation Program and other TxDOT initiatives requiring consultation with rural planning organizations.

The meeting will be in the CAPCOG Pecan Room.

> Discover the Capital Area Regional Transportation Planning Organization.

CAPCOG solid waste grant program seeks projects

Monday, November 09, 2015

Slightly more than $204,000 of pass-through funding is available to local communities during the CAPCOG Solid Waste Grant Program 2016-17 cycle.

The grant program began taking applications Nov. 3 and has a Dec. 17 deadline. A Nov. 18 grant writing workshop will provide assistance to applicants. Grant funds are available to local governments, school districts, and general and special law districts. The funds may be used in seven project categories:

  • Local enforcement;
  • Litter and illegal dumping cleanup and collection events;
  • Source reduction and recycling;
  • Citizen collection stations;
  • Household hazardous waste management;
  • Education and training;
  • And other (projects in this category must be approved by the TCEQ on a project-by-project basis).

During 2014 and 2015, the solid waste grant funded 14 projects. The majority of the projects provided funding for communities to conduct household hazardous waste collection events and community cleanups. Funds helped Fayette County, Smithville, and Austin Community College purchase recycling program equipment. Bastrop County used funds to create and update outreach materials on proper waste disposal.

> Apply for a CAPCOG solid waste grant.
> Register for the upcoming grant writing workshop.
> Discover the CAPCOG Solid Waste Program.
 

TCEQ seeks applications for Emissions Reduction Incentive Grants

Thursday, November 05, 2015
Source: Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) Program announced it is now accepting applications for the Emissions Reduction Incentive Grants (ERIG). The grant funds the upgrade or replacement of older heavy-duty vehicles, non-road equipment, and stationary equipment.

Application submissions will have a 5 p.m., Feb. 2, 2016 deadline.

The grant is eligible to any person who operates or plans to operate on-road heavy-duty vehicles, non-road equipment, or stationary engines primarily in one or more of the eligible counties. For infrastructure projects, persons owning or operating the infrastructure in an eligible county may also be eligible for funding.

Applicants can include individuals, corporations, organizations, governments or governmental subdivisions or agencies, school districts, business trusts, partnerships, associations, or any other legal entity. Applicants must have the legal authority to dispose of the vehicle being replaced.

Eligible CAPCOG counties for the grant include: Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and Williamson.

Grant Application Workshops, Dealer Trainings, and Application Assistance Sessions will be scheduled to provide an overview of the ERIG application process. The ERIG program has several new changes this year. Plan to attend a workshop to learn more about new program requirements and new grant application forms.

> Watch for upcoming grant workshops and trainings.
> Get the grant application.
> Learn more about TERP.
> Discover CAPCOG’s Air Quality Program.

CAPCOG launches criminal justice plan survey

Monday, November 02, 2015

The Capital Area Council of Governments opened an online survey for criminal justice planners and professionals and area residents to provide input into the Regional Criminal Justice Strategic Plan.

Two planning meetings were held on Oct.29, 2015, but CAPCOG wanted to solicit additional input from area criminal justice stakeholders and developed the survey for those who were unable to attend the planning meetings.

The survey is available until 5 p.m. Nov. 9, 2015. Please pass the survey's link to anyone who would be interested in providing input on the Regional Criminal Justice Strategic Plan in the CAPCOG region. People who attended either stakeholder meeting should not complete the survey, since they already provided input for the plan.

> Take the 2016 Criminal Justice Strategic Plan survey.

The Regional Criminal Justice Strategic Plan indentifies gaps in direct victim assistance, juvenile justice, mental health, and criminal justice issues so that services, existing programs, new initiatives, and funding opportunities may be reviewed and resources targeted accordingly.

> Read the current Regional Criminal Justice Strategic Plan.
> Discover more about the CAPCOG Criminal Justice Program.
> For more information about the survey, contact Matt Holderread.

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