Regional councils in North Carolina are the result of 1969 legislation that charged the NC Department of Administration with developing “…a system of multi-county regional planning districts to cover the entire state” (GS 143-341) after Congress passed the Intergovernmental Cooperation Act in 1968 calling for closer cooperation between federal programs and state and local governments.

By 1970, an executive order had designated 18 regions in North Carolina. In 1971, the state announced its Lead Regional Organization policy that directed state agencies to deal with a single regional organization in each designated region of the state for the delivery of services in several departments.

Regional councils have been operating in the state since 1972 although many were organically organized by local governments long before the official state designation. As the North Carolina landscape changed over the years some of the regions merged, bringing the current total to 16 regional councils serving the state.

General Services

Regional councils provide a wide variety of programs and services to their local governments and residents. The nature and extent of the programs vary, depending on local needs and the priorities of the board that governs each council.

Each regional council maintains a core staff and all 16 are involved in providing services to their members. One extremely important aspect of this service is the provision of current information on state and federal programs of concern to local governments. Through constant contact with state and federal agencies, regional councils are able to analyze trends and advise their members on program changes and the availability of funding or programs that are important to their local governments.

In many regions, local governments contract for a wide range of services in specialized areas or provide those services on a part-time basis while assisting with the executive search process.  

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