Appalachian Council of Governments

Providing quality services to local governments since 1965

Information and Services

A History of Service to Local Governments . . .
Since 1965.

The Council of Governments has been working for the local governments and the people of Appalachian South Carolina since 1965. The organization began as the Appalachian Advisory Commission, a 12-member board created to advise the Governor on the use of Appalachian Regional Commission funds.

As the benefits of regional cooperation became more apparent, the organization was expanded, and during the late 1960's planning and additional grants programs were added to its functions. The name was changed to the Appalachian Regional Planning and Development Commission. Then, in a 1970 referendum, the voters of South Carolina authorized local governments to join together to form regional councils. In 1971, the counties of Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Oconee, Pickens, and Spartanburg joined together and reorganized the Commission to form the South Carolina Appalachian Council of Governments.

In the years since 1971, the Council has evolved into a multi-faceted service organization for area local governments. In addition to our economic development efforts, planning, information management and an intensive governmental technical assistance program now play an equally important part in providing valuable benefits to local governments vithin the region.

Over the years, the Council has played a vital role in the orderly growth and development of Appalachian South Carolina, and in the strengthening of its member local governments. We also recognize that playing a central role in these efforts were the local government leaders for whom we work, and without whose support and cooperation, these accomplishments would not have been possible.

Economic Development and Grant Services

The Appalachian Council of Governments promotes regional economic and community development by providing expert assistance to local governments and nonprofits in applying for public funds from a variety of sources. We often administer grant projects under contract to assure compliance with state and federal regulations. Some of the major kinds of projects that we can help with are:
Water and Sewer Grants
We can assist local governments in identifying and securing funds to build or improve facilities to serve new or expanding industry and to benefit the residential user.
Housing Rehabilitation Grants
We can assist local governments in securing funds to rehabilitate substandard single family or multi-family housing units.
Other Grants
We can assist with applying for various grant and loan programs offered by the State of South Carolina and the U.S. Government for such things as community centers, recreation, fire protection, law enforcement, senior centers, medical clinics, etc.

Planning Services

Planning Services serves a dual function. Regional planning is a primary purpose of councils of governments, as established in state enabling legislation. Many challenges facing the region in the areas of environmental preservation, economic development, land use, transportation, and infrastructure/service provision, transcend traditional governmental boundaries. It is the responsibility of the Planning staff to provide a forum for these issues to be addressed on a regional basis. In addition, the Planning staff provides a variety of other services to local governments. We can assist in developing land use plans, zoning ordinances and similar policy documents. We also work with communities on downtown development activities and offer educational programs for elected officials, planning commissions, and appeals boards.

Appalachian Development Corporation

The Council established a revolving loan fund to assist small business growth and job creation in our region. We can make loans from $20,000 to $100,000 in cooperation with local private lenders or government agencies. All loans must be collateralized, and each business must have a plan which clearly demonstrates its ability to repay the loan on time. A minimum of 10% equity is required.

Area Agency on Aging

The Appalachian Council of Governments is the Area Agency on Aging for the six-county region. The overall goal of the Area Agency on Aging is to develop and promote an aging network system that will enable older people to lead independent lives in their homes, with dignity, for as long as possible.

The Area Agency on Aging's responsibilities, as determined under Title III of the Older Americans Act, are to plan and contract for services to meet the needs of citizens age 60 or older; to coordinate present aging services with other funded programs; to assist local organizations in developing programs which would benefit senior adults, to undertake annual planning activities to obtain updated information; and, to serve as an advocate on behalf of the elderly. Tlie annual Area Plan on Aging is a formal document which identifies these needs and provides justification for receiving funds from the Older Americans Act.

Among the services the Area Agency on Aging subcontracts to local service providers are:

These services may vary from county to county and from year to year depending upon the needs identified and the availability of resources.

Governmental Services

The Governmental Services staff provides diversified support to local governments. Our office presents a nonprofit alternative to costly private consultants. Local governments considering major projects owe it to themselves and their taxpayers to consider these services. Listed below are just a few of the services offered:
Management Studies
Personnel Services
Microcomputer Services
Public Works/Solid Waste
Management/Supervisory Training
General Government Services

Data Services

The Data Services staff maintains an extensive demographic and economic database for the region's six counties and makes the information available to representatives of government and business. In order to best serve the needs of our clients, we produce a variety of reports, including: Economic Profiles - Reports published annually for each county covering: Economic Activity Reports - An inventory of major commercial and industrial development activity for each county published quarterly. Multi-Family Housing Surveys - Annual publication for each county. Detailed information on apartment and condominium properties: The Data Services staff also fields statistical requests and provides consultation in response to questions concerning:

Geographical Information System

The GIS staff maintains a Regional Geographic Information System Center. As part of a statewide GIS data network with the S.C. Department of Commerce, USC, and other state agencies, access is available to a wide range of digital databases, including map layers of major road systems, hydrography, water and sewer systems, industrial locations, and other information. The 1990 Census TIGER files are also resident on the system.

The GIS staff provides GIS training, technical assistance, data distribution, and completes mapping-related projects. A Regional Geographic Information System Committee has been established which meets quarterly for the purpose of sharing information and guiding GIS work.

To Contact the Appalachian Council of Governments

Send mail to:
Appalachian Council of Governments
50 Grand Avenue
PO Drawer 6668
Greenville, SC 29606

Or phone your county office:
ANDERSON -------- 225-3268 OCONEE -------- 882-7538
CHEROKEE -------- 489-6960 PICKENS ------- 855-0163
GREENVILLE ------ 242-9733 SPARTANBURG --- 582-1403

Or send email to Brenda Workman,, or to P. J. Goodwin,