The regional councils in Alabama perform a variety of roles in multi-jurisdictional planning and program coordination. Nine of the regional councils are designated as Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs), performing regional program planning and management for senior services under the Older Americans Act with funding through the Alabama Department of Senior Services.
Eleven of the regional councils operate Senior Community Service Employment Programs (SCSEP) funded under Title V of the Older Americans Act. Ten of the regional councils are designated as Economic Development Districts (EDDs) by the Economic Development Administration; eight are designated as Local Development Districts (LDDs) by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC); and, six are designated as Local Development Districts (LDDs) by the Delta Regional Authority (DRA). These federal agencies fund regional planning and technical assistance activities. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) administers the ARC funds and also provides State funds to all twelve of the regional councils to provide technical assistance to local governments.
Three of the regions participate with the Governor’s Black Belt Action Commission to improve quality of life in the 12 Black Belt counties of Bullock, Choctaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Pickens, Perry, Sumter and Wilcox Counties. RPC staff members serve as project managers for projects within their respective regions.
All 12 of the regional councils are serving as facilitators for the Governor’s Alabama Rural Action Commission initiative. Seven of the regional councils function as the Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) for transportation planning in the respective metropolitan areas, and all 12 of the regional councils have been designated as Rural Planning Organizations (RPOs) by the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) to implement a transportation planning consultation process with rural elected officials. Five of the regional councils are funded by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), through ALDOT, to manage public transit systems in multi-jurisdictional service areas.
The regional councils also serve as area-wide clearinghouses to coordinate and distribute information about state and federal programs and to review local plans, applications, and activities.