The East Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission, a public agency established under state enabling legislation, is a voluntary association of the municipal and county governments within the Commission's regional service area. The Commission was created in 1971 through the merger of two existing regional agencies, one based in Anniston and one in Alexander City. Its regional service area comprises ten counties extending northward along the boundary between Alabama and Georgia in the northeast part of the state. This region includes both the Gadsden MSA (Etowah County) and the Anniston MSA (Calhoun County), and 53 of the municipalities in the region are members of the Commission. The Commission is governed by a 97-member Board of Directors which meets monthly. The Board of Directors includes representatives from the municipal and county governments, the chambers of commerce, Jacksonville State University, the community colleges, and the private sector.
The East Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission is tasked with the mission of serving the municipal and county governments and their citizens in East Alabama to improve quality of life, create opportunity, and facilitate economic development by providing a regional forum, building regional partnerships, promoting regional solutions, serving as a catalyst for regional progress, and responding to regional and local needs and issues through planning and advocacy, the provision of professional and technical services, the seeking and leveraging federal, state and other resources, and the administration of regional and local programs.
The Commission’s primary responsibility is to respond to the needs of the local governments, improving the quality of existing programs and services, and identifying and responding in an innovative manner to new challenges in the swiftly evolving environment confronting local governments.
The member governments tasked the Commission with the responsibility of serving as the Area Agency on Aging for the ten-county region. In that role, the Commission must plan for and implement a wide range of services for the growing and changing elderly population within the region. As the Area Agency on Aging, the Commission has a mandate to serve as an advocate for the seniors within the region. An expanding role of the Commission is information and referral through the Commission’s Aging and Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC).
The Commission will continue to expand public transportation services within the East Alabama region to encompass all counties not currently served, especially responding to the ever increasing senior population and the disabled.
As the designated EDA Economic Development District and ARC Local Development District, the Commission must continue to focus on the community and economic development issues and opportunities by assisting local governments and economic development organizations to foster economic growth to create jobs and increase personal incomes. The Commission will use advanced GIS technology to analyze and provide access to data in support of comprehensive planning and community and economic development planning activities, expanding the regional data base, and partnering with local and state agencies to provide new applications.
To implement its mission, the Commission must continue to build a highly motivated professional staff drawn from a spectrum of disciplines and work experiences to address the responsibilities and tasks set for the Commission. To build this capacity, the Commission’s staff must be provided with the continuing education and training opportunities to grow professionally and the resources and support to carry out its duties. The Commission will also build on the partnership with Jacksonville State University and other educational resources to increase training and professional development opportunities for the staffs of local governments and nonprofits within the East Alabama region.