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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the WPCOG?

The WPCOG is the Western Piedmont Council of Governments, a regional planning agency in western North Carolina. A "Council of Governments" or COG, more often called a regional council, is a voluntary association of city and county governments who work together to solve mutual problems. 


How and when was the WPCOG organized?

The WPCOG was officially created in 1968 when a group of area civic, business and governmental leaders met to discuss problems shared by the entire area. Other movements at the federal and state levels helped facilitate the development of regional councils in North Carolina. The Intergovernmental Cooperation Act of 1968 directed the President to establish rules and guidelines to review projects and programs having areawide significance. In May 1970, then Governor Robert Scott signed an Executive Order which divided the State of North Carolina into 17 multi-county planning regions. In 1971, the NC General Assembly enacted legislation setting out how a regional council could be organized and specifying charter contents and legal powers. In 1974, then Governor James Holshouser enlarged the scope of services for regional councils by giving them the opportunity to administer several human services programs previously administered by the state. 


What local governments make up the WPCOG?

Current membership of the WPCOG is 100 percent of the eligible counties, cities and towns located within the area designated by the State as Multi-County Planning Region E. The area includes Alexander, Burke, Caldwell and Catawba Counties, and the municipalities of Brookford, Cajah's Mountain, Catawba, Cedar Rock, Claremont, Connelly Springs, Conover, Drexel, Gamewell, Glen Alpine, Granite Falls, Hickory, Hildebran, Hudson, Lenoir, Long View, Maiden, Morganton, Newton, Rhodhiss, Rutherford College, Sawmills, Taylorsville and Valdese.


How is the organization structured?

Policies of the organization are set and administered by a Policy Board which includes one voting member and an alternate from each local government, as well as seven non-elected members. Each local government is entitled to one vote which can be cast by a delegate or the designated alternate. Bimonthly meetings are held beginning in January of every year at local government offices. An Executive Committee which is elected by and from members of the Policy Board every November serves as officers of the organization.    


How is the WPCOG funded?

The WPCOG receives state and federal funds, as well as dues from member local governments. Major state and federal funding sources include the Appalachian Regional Commission, Economic Development Administration, US Department of Housing and Urban Development, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), and Aging. A majority of these funds are pass-through. Annual dues for member local governments are assessed at 50 cents per capita based on the latest NC State Planning office population counts.   


How is the staff organized?

The WPCOG's staff of 60 is organized into eight main departments including Administration, Finance, Area Agency on Aging, Community & Economic Development, Community & Regional Planning, IT Services, Section 8 Housing and Workforce Development. 


Where is the WPCOG located?

The WPCOG is located in Hickory (Long View), North Carolina, at 1880 Second Avenue, NW. See directions to the new offices on the first page of this web site.


What are the agency's operating hours?

The WPCOG is open Monday through Friday from 8:15 am until 5:00 pm. 


How do I contact the WPCOG?

The main switchboard number is 828-322-9191. The agency fax number is 828-322-5991. Direct dial telephone numbers and email addresses for employees may be found at  the About Us tab under Staff Directory.  

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