The Mid-Region Council of Governments is a multi-county governmental agency that is helping our region plan responsibly for the future, in light of anticipated growth in New Mexico's mid-region. Representing the counties of Bernalillo, Valencia, Torrance, and Sandoval, we provide planning services in the areas of transportation, agriculture, workforce development, employment growth, land-use, water, and economic development.
We also provide a forum for groups and individual communities to meet and address regional issues. By working together as a region, we're able to identify and implement short and long term policy decisions that are critical to a healthy community and prosperous New Mexico.
Much of the transportation planning support we provide to the outlying areas of the region occurs through the Rural Transportation Planning Organization, and to the urban core through the Metropolitan Planning Organization. The majority of data collection and analysis work is performed region-wide and can be customized to meet individual needs.
We also manage the popular commuter rail service: the New Mexico Rail Runner Express.
Our regional water planning effort addresses a fundamental concern of local governments: how will we meet future water needs? Likewise, the Agriculture Collaborative focuses on another scarce resource: local farmland, which as a result of urban encroachment, is dwindling.
Our regional economy cannot be prosperous without jobs, and through the Workforce Connection of Central New Mexico, Business and Career Centers are assisting area employers while providing quality resources for people exploring career opportunities. We also assist the regional economy by providing a summary of the region's economic conditions and recommended activities for growth and development.
The Mid-Region Council of Governments of New Mexico (MRCOG) is an association of local governments and special units of government within the state's third planning district. The MRCOG was established December 11, 1969, under the authority of the Regional Planning Act and under the Joint Powers Act. Municipal and county government agencies in Bernalillo, Valencia, Torrance, and Sandoval Counties, plus Edgewood in Santa Fe County, are members, as well as groups like Albuquerque Public Schools, the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District and the Indian Pueblos. Elected and appointed representatives of these organizations serve on the MRCOG's Board of Directors and give the organization direction. (Read more about member organizations).
The MRCOG was created to conduct and coordinate regional planning and other services as directed by its Board of Directors. It provides a forum where local elected officials and other groups from across the region can meet and discuss issues that do not begin or end at political boundaries. MRCOG's role is advisory with the primary task to provide member governments with data and plans to allow them to make better informed decisions.
The MRCOG mission is to strengthen individual communities by identifying and initiating regional planning strategies through open dialogue and collaboration between the member governments.
The MRCOG is the metropolitan planning organization (MPO) for the Albuquerque Metropolitan Planning Area (AMPA). A major responsibility of the MPO is coordinate with federal, state, and local transportation planning organizations to develop the Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP) which identifies the transportation planning priorities for the Albuquerque metropolitan area.
The MRCOG also serves as the agent for the New Mexico Department of Transportation to implement commuter rail service between Belen and Santa Fe. We oversee activities such as: 1) procurement of equipment; 2) environmental, engineering, design, and construction of facilities; and 3) marketing and operation of the commuter rail service.
The MRCOG provides a variety of services to its members and is funded through a combination of participation fees, federal, state and other grants. Services provided include planning and technical assistance in the fields of transportation, economic development, ordinances, zoning, job training and other special projects as requested. Areas of technical expertise include map making and Geographic Information Systems analysis; gathering data about population, employment, land use, and traffic flow; as well as developing forecasts to project what these figures will be in the future.
Sometimes referred to as regional councils, organizations like as MRCOG exist throughout the United States.
A regional council is a multi-service entity with state and locally-defined boundaries that delivers a variety of federal, state and local programs while continuing its function as a planning organization, technical assistance provider and "visionary" to its member local governments. As such, they are accountable to local units of government and effective partners for state and federal governments.
Conceived in the 1960s, regional councils today are stable, broad-based organizations adept at consensus-building, creating partnerships, providing services, problem solving, and fiscal management. The role of the regional council has been shaped by the changing dynamics in federal, state and local government relations, and the growing recognition that the region is the arena in which local governments must work together to resolve social and environmental challenges.
Regional councils have carved out a valuable niche for themselves as reliable agents and many operate more independent of federal funding. Comprehensive transportation planning, economic development, workforce development, the environment, services for the elderly, and clearinghouse functions are among the types of programs managed by regional councils.
Definition provided by the National Association of Regional Councils