NARCOG’s mission is reflected by the dedication statement on the plaque at the front of its central headquarters building at 216 Jackson Street NE in Decatur, Alabama. The statement reads:
“Dedicated to Improving the Quality of Life for the Citizens of Cullman, Lawrence and Morgan Counties."
The North Central Alabama Regional Council of Governments, or NARCOG, is your local elected officials working together to make your community a better place to live, to work, to play, and to do business. For over forty years, NARCOG has been serving the three county region of Cullman, Lawrence, and Morgan counties. The people at NARCOG are continuously searching for new ways to positively impact the quality of life for individuals and the vibrancy and livability of communities within the region.
Originally created in 1966 as the North Central Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission, NARCOG was re-established with its new name and subsequently certified by Governor George Wallace on November 1, 1971. NARCOG operates under the authority of Section 3 of Act No. 1126 of the 1969 Regular Session of the Legislature of Alabama. This Section provides for the creation and operation of regional planning and development commissions which have among their many purposes to “carry on continuous, comprehensive planning for the region, assessing needs, resources, and development opportunities and formulating goals, objectives, policies, and standards to guide physical, economic, and human resource development.”
When NARCOG was re-established in 1971, it was by an inter-local agreement by and between Cullman County, Lawrence County, Morgan County, the City of Cullman, the City of Decatur, the City of Hartselle, and the City of Moulton. Currently, the agreement consists of the same three County Commissions who then select members of the Board of Directors to represent all of the local governments, that is, three counties, eight cities and fifteen towns, as well as the broad economic interests of the area.
Since its creation, NARCOG has arranged for various designations through partnerships with other Federal and State agencies in order to carry their joint purposes. These designations include:
Area Agency on Aging
This designation by the Alabama Department of Senior Services working under the authority of the Older Americans Act is for the purpose of coordinating a wide range of services for persons who are aged or persons with disabilities.
Economic Development District
This designation by the US Economic Development Administration is for the purpose of supporting local and regional governments and organizations in promoting economic development.
Local Development District
This designation by the Appalachian Regional Commission is for the purpose of supporting local and regional governments and organizations in the development of community resources, facilities, and infrastructure as well as the development of human resources.
Rural Planning Organization
This designation by the Alabama Department of Transportation is for the purpose of consultation with rural local governments with responsibility for transportation in identifying their long term transportation needs and safety considerations.
Regional Transit Agency
This designation by the Alabama Department of Transporation and the Federal Transit Administration is for the purpose of serving the transporation needs of the general public throughout Lawrence and Morgan Counties.
NARCOG has a professional staff of approximately 75 employees who, along with 40 part-time senior workers and a number of volunteers and partner organizations, work together to accomplish the organization’s purpose.