The grant, announced by HUD Monday, will go to the Centralina Council of Governments (CCOG) and pay to implement the ‘CONNECT Regional Vision Plan’ which fosters well-managed growth by encouraging local, state, and federal agencies to work collaboratively with businesses and residents to identify needs and challenges as the region grows.
Mecklenburg County played a central role in helping secure the grant. County staff gathered data and statistics from local jurisdictions, drafted the language used in the grant proposal and participated in the CONNECT Council, which was chaired by Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners Chairman Jennifer Roberts.
“We have worked as a team over several years to get to this point,” said Roberts. “And I want to thank those Mecklenburg County employees who helped make it happen and who will be part of the implementation of the regional project. County governments throughout our region have shown we can work together for the benefit of all."
The CONNECT Consortium is an alliance of over 100 organizations in the 14-county bi-state region from local government, for profit, not for profit and academic sectors.
“I think this will be a great opportunity to tackle issues like air and water quality, growth, social equity as a group and do what is best for the entire region, long term,” said Heidi Pruess, Mecklenburg County’s environmental policy administrator. “Having this grant helps ensure that we are doing what we can to manage that growth in a positive way, and I know it will make a big difference:”
The region was one of 28 in the country to get a grant, with only a few getting the maximum $5 million.
Commissioners plan to recognize Mecklenburg County’s role in the obtaining the grant at the Board’s Dec. 6 regular meeting.