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Who We Are

 

The Ohio Association of Regional Councils comprises 24 agencies serving more than 1,500 municipalities, villages, townships and counties and representing over 10 million residents of those communities around the state. Regional councils coordinate and work to streamline statewide services at the regional level, leverage federal resources and serve as stewards of the Ohio’s limited resources.

Ohio’s regional councils serve as a conveners, consensus builders, facilitators and leaders in order to target limited regional resources to deliver the best return on investment for the region.

Bringing varied interests and parties together is a hallmark of the regional council. Because the staff works with board members, community leaders and residents to develop plans for community and economic development, they add value and support to regional projects and programs.

One of the regional council’s most important roles is to identify the priority needs of local communities. Based on these needs, the leaders work with board members and other local citizens to develop plans for communities’ economic development, to target and meet the most pressing needs, and to build unity and leadership.

Regional Councils also help secure financing from a variety of local, state, federal and even private funding sources for projects that have a positive impact on the residential and commercial sectors.

By creating or retaining jobs, providing access to education or training, increasing availability to water and sanitary sewer service, helping communities meet federal air quality standards, as well as maintaining and upgrading bridges and roads, the projects administered by  regional councils build the regions’ infrastructure for future growth.

To keep up with the pace of growth, Councils also provide planning services and make critical demographic and economic data available to public and private entities across the regions. Also available are Geographic Information System (GIS) technical and mapping services that provide critical data for making informed decisions and strategic investments.

Regional Councils also manage business development loan fund programs. Especially in rural areas, the programs are one of the primary economic development tools serving small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Most of Ohio’s regional councils are federally mandated Metropolitan Planning Organizations that bring local officials together to determine transportation priorities and how to allocate federal transportation dollars. Six of the councils are Areawide Water Quality Management Planning Agencies, designated under the Clean Water Act and certified by the Governor of Ohio. However, all the councils have long histories of coordinating local transportation, environmental and land-use planning projects within the framework of state policy.