A meeting was held yesterday at the Calhoun Depot to form the new Northwest Georgia Regional Commission.  The combination of the Coosa Valley Regional Development Center with the Northwest Georgia Regional Development Center means that now 15 counties will be served by the new commission. House Bill 1216, which went into effect this year, required the RDCs to combine into more consistent regions to streamline effectiveness.

The first meeting ratified the boundaries, which would be the 15 counties: Bartow, Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Floyd, Gordon, Haralson, Paulding, Polk, Walker, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield.

County officials there also approved a formula appointing an elected official from each county’s largest city — then reconvened a second meeting with the full council.

The organizational meetings were attended by more than 50 officials representing counties and municipalities, as well as appointees selected by the governor and lieutenant governor.  Chattooga County Commissioner Jason Winters attended the meeting in Calhoun yesterday.

The regional commissions provide services to local governments and individuals in areas of planning, aging and workforce. They obtain the federal funding and grants that are dispensed to those agencies. They were first formed in 1961 when the Commission began its initial operation as an Area Planning and Development Commission and later as a Regional Development Center. They provide local governments with a forum to address issues of regional concern for almost 50 years.