General Information about Northeast Council of Governments

ORIGIN

The South Dakota planning district boundaries were established under Executive Order 70-7, by Governor Frank Farrar on December 4, 1970.  Most of the state’s original six planning districts were in operation by 1973.

NECOG, formerly the Fourth Planning and Development District, began in 1973 serving 10 counties in northeastern South Dakota.  In the mid-1980’s, the Fifth Planning and Development District that covered central South Dakota ceased operations and several of its counties joined NECOG in the early 1990’s.  NECOG currently serves 12 counties: Beadle, Brown, Campbell, Day, Edmunds, Faulk, Hand, McPherson, Marshall, Potter, Spink, and Walworth.

STRUCTURE

NECOG is a voluntary association and members sign a Joint Cooperative Agreement annually; membership begins January 1 of each year.  Members include counties and cities.  A county must join for its respective communities to receive services.  In addition, all cities with a population over 950 (or the largest city in the county if none are over 950) must join to receive services for their communities.  NECOG is designated by the Economic Development Administration (EDA) as an Economic Development District.

NECOG is governed by a board and member governments select representatives to serve on the board.  The governing board of NECOG consists of approximately 50 members.  Each member county appoints two county commissioners and one private sector representative.  Member cities appoint one representative.  A five member Executive Board is elected from the full board.

FUNDING

NECOG is financed through three main sources:  1) local dues, 2) direct federal or state grants, and 3) local contracts and fees.  Local dues are based upon a fixed amount, plus so much per capita.

SERVICES

NECOG can undertake a wide variety of assistance activities.  The most consistent work areas include:

•    Grant and loan preparation
•    Preparation of development plans
•    Special studies and research
•    Business assistance (application and information)
•    Direct local government assistance (information source, ordinance compilation, map preparation, etc.)
•    Trouble shooting on local projects and issues
•    Census and other reference information
•    Public information
•    Liaison between project sponsors and federal or state agencies
•    Project administrative assistance

The emphasis of NECOG depends upon the needs of its membership and the staff capacity.  Because the needs of our member’s governments continue to change, so will our services.

BENEFITS

The advantages of NECOG membership include:

1.    Access to a professional staff that the government could not afford on its own.
2.    Participation in an association that is responsible to local government, not the state or special interests.
3.    Opportunity to share concerns and problems on a regular basis with other units of government.
4.    Potential to work together with other units of government on regional problems.
5.    Access to current information on programs and issues.