The State of Georgia allowed local governments to voluntarily join together and assess themselves local dues for hiring of professional staff for their mutual benefit. These new groups were called Area Planning and Development Commissions (APDCs). The Georgia Planning Act of 1989 reconstituted the APDCs as Regional Development Centers (RDCs). The Planning Act of 1989 gave RDCs the responsibility for developing, promoting and assisting in the establishment of coordinated and comprehensive planning in the state.
The Heart of Georgia Altamaha Regional Commission “HOGARC” is one of 12 regional commissions in Georgia established under H.B. 1216 (O.C.G.A. 50-8) in July, 2009. The HOGARC serves a 17-county region in south central and southeast Georgia, the same as its predecessor agency, the Heart of Georgia Altamaha Regional Development Center (Est. 1996). The region is a large, rural region of Georgia encompassing 17 counties, 62 cities, and approximately 6,904 square miles.
As a regional planning commission, HOGARC works with local governments in areas such as:
- Aging Services – senior centers, adult day care, meals at home and in group settings, caregiver support, transportation, senior job training, health screenings, and more.
- Workforce Development – One Stop Career Centers, skills assessments, youth services, veteran services, employer services
- Transportation – on demand, low-cost public transit, mobility management, transit planning
- Local/Regional Planning – comprehensive plans, transportation plans, land use planning, economic development, demographics, historic preservation, revolving loan funds, affordable housing tourism, defense conversion, geospatial information systems, disaster mitigation planning, community development, grant writing and administration
The Heart of Georgia Altamaha Regional Commission “HOGARC” strives to provide professional advice and assistance to our member governments in the areas of comprehensive planning, community and economic development, historic preservation, local government administration and management, aging services, workforce investment, geospatial information services and transportation.
In accordance with State law, the Heart of Georgia Altamaha Georgia Regional Commission has a 51-member governing body known as the Regional Commission Council. Membership with the HOGARC is automatic for governments within the region, while an appointed Council is responsible for establishing HOGARC’s policy and directive as provided or authorized by law. Council membership for the HOGARC is comprised of not less than two nor more than five representatives from each member county served by the RC, including at least one elected or appointed municipal government official from each member county and at least one elected or appointed county government official from each member county.