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Area Agency
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Community & Economic



Community and Economic Development


We support our local governments in carrying out their missions by providing community and economic development support and other technical assistance. 


Community and Economic Development focuses on five main areas:

Grant Services aid the membership in researching and applying for state and federal grants. FRC will also provide grant administration, depending on the needs of the membership. FRC currently focuses on economic and housing grants, including ARC, EDA, CDBG, Golden Leaf, HUD HOME and many others. 

Planning has a concentration on long-range plans, both comprehensive and small area plans. Comprehensive Plans are the backbone of land-use policies and decisions. According to North Carolina General Statutes, every local government must base its zoning decisions on a long-range plan describing land-use and growth management issues. Small Area Plans are typically focused on communities within a jurisdiction that want to address growth strategies in a more specified area. 

Transportation Planning is also a key component of the Community and Economic Development department. Designated as the Lead Planning Agency for the Foothills Rural Planning Organization (FRPO), FRPO is responsible for working with NCDOT and McDowell, Polk, and Rutherford counties to develop the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). FRPO also assists in developing local transportation plans and provides a public forum for transportation-related information. 

GIS/Data Services specializes in locating and analyzing demographic and economic data for our membership and other local governments, nonprofits, and the private sector. As one of the 16 regional affiliates in the North Carolina Data Center network, FRC staff also can help local government to meet Census requirements. FRC also has an in-house GIS staff well-versed in creating custom maps and other data products.

Technical assistance is a primary function of the Community and Economic Development department. FRC planners have contracted with local governments to provide various planning services, from current planning to code enforcement to facilitating regional plans. By hiring us, local governments gain valuable expertise from our staff; they also have access to GIS and other services.