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Thread: Regional planning - reasons why it's a good idea

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    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    Regional planning - reasons why it's a good idea

    I am preparing testimony as to why the state should continue funding the regional planning organizations in my fair state. For many of you planners that live in states where most, if not all, planning is done regionally, this seems like a silly question but really, why is state funding of regional planning organizations a good idea? Intuitively I can answer but I'm looking for good wording to help.

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    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    I'm not the best with fancy wording, but here's what I can offer:

    Our regional planning agency focuses on grants for the many cities and counties that don't have the budget to high professional staff to solve difficult problems like supplying safe drinking water or updating the volunteer fire departments equipment. The planning agency becomes an outreach for the state so grants are identified and used by the towns and people who need it most. Programs like the state weatherization grant that helps the rural poor fix their home to reduce drafts, increase energy efficiency, and of course their health is not well advertised to individuals otherwise.

    Point out a few of the great programs the regional agency did. In our case I can point out how the agency got a state grant for a small town to put it a new water system. The town provided volunteer labor and a local contractor pitched in with all the trenching. It's always great to see a town come together and with a little state funding solve a huge problem. You've got to have a couple success stories like that.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

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    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    "Problems encountered by a growing region rarely observe political boundaries and consequently require inter-governmental solutions. Your Regional Planning Council is proud to be a part of that solution."
    Annoyingly insensitive

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    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    nice - sounds awesome - thanks - keep em coming

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    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    Group procurement opportunities - I know of RPA's that have offered bulk rates for communities for things like police cars and streetlights

    Best practice exchanges between communities

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    Cyburbian Plus
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    From Indiana Association of Regional Councils (IARC) a statewide, 501(c)(3) association http://www.iarc.cc/profile.html

    IARC By-Laws
    ARTICLE II: OBJECTIVE
    The objectives of IARC shall be to provide a forum for the exchange of knowledge that will strengthen and improve the local governments through the multi-county concept of planning for development; to stimulate, encourage and sponsor educational efforts leading to a greater understanding of the services to be rendered by the districts to all levels of government and community leaders; to study, evaluate and define the working relationships between these districts and agencies of the local, state and federal governments and with public and private organizations having an interest in community and area development activity and to expedite
    inter-district coordination and cooperation.

    ECI Regional Planning District http://www.ecirpd.org/about/
    Our primary purpose is to help local governments advance economic growth and development in their communities. To do so, ECIRPD offers assistance with planning, strategic thinking and securing grants to aid in the funding of projects that better the region. With our help, local governments can create effective solutions to improve blighted areas in their communities.

    We offer a team approach to regional concerns and opportunities, improving quality of living in the region by working closely with local government officials and other professionals in the following areas:
    The Michiana Area Council of Governments (MACOG) is a regional intergovernmental agency established to foster cooperative, coordinated and comprehensive planning activities. The MACOG region represents Elkhart, Kosciusko, Marshall and St. Joseph Counties in Indiana and serves several functions: an MPO, an RPO, staff of the SJRBC, transit operator, and does economic development planning among other tasks.
    http://www.macog.com/

    River Hills Economic Development District & Regional Planning Commission http://www.riverhills.cc/

  7. #7
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    Where there are no MPOs regional councils can take their place and create uniform standards between area cities which could reduce costs along with that group procurement thing Mass was talking about. Also helps with grants where a regional or sometimes any plan needs to be in place.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
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    Our MPO is instrumental in addressing regional transportation infrastructure needs. When there are multiple jurisdictions, often with competing and/or conflicting interests, it helps to have an intermediary organization that acts to foster cooperation and develop solutions that will transcend jurisdictional boundaries.

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