The Texas Association of Regional Councils (TARC) was organized
in 1973 by an interlocal agreement among Texas' 24 regional
councils of governments. The statewide association assists
the regional councils in strengthening their capabilities
to serve their local government members; provides a forum
for the regular exchange of information and ideas; educates
other governmental entities, public and private organizations,
and the general public about the services and functions
of regional councils; and represents the councils before
both state and federal agencies and legislative bodies.
Each of the regional councils pays membership dues to participate.
Regional councils, or councils of governments (COGs) are
voluntary associations of local governments formed under Texas
law. These associations deal with the problems and planning
needs that cross the boundaries of individual local governments
or that require regional attention.
Regional services offered by councils of governments
are varied. Servies are undertaken in cooperation with member
governments, the private sector, and state and federal partners,
and include but are not limited to the following: planning
and implementing regional homeland security strategies; operating
law enforcement training academies; promoting regional municipal
solid waste and environmental quality planning; providing
cooperative purchasing options for governments; managing region-wide
services to the elderly; maintaining and improving regional
9-1-1 systems; promoting regional economic development; operating
specialized transit systems; and providing management services
for member governments.
In addition, Texas regional councils of
governments are responsible for regional planning activities
that may differ from region to region, but typically include
planning for economic growth, water supply and water quality,
air quality, transportation, emergency preparedness, and the
coordinated delivery of various social services. Many councils
of governments establish and host region-wide geographical
information systems (GIS) as well as databases on regional
population, economic, and land-use patterns.
Visit the Texas
Association of Regional Council's website.