Lower Savannah Council of Governments (LSCOG) is one of ten regional organizations in South Carolina which coordinates cooperative development among local governments. Regional planning organizations are associations of local governments that seek regional solutions for common problems. COGs strengthen the individual and collective power of member counties and municipalities and help identify regional opportunities. They provide guidance and act as advisors when needed, but do not have authority over member counties. COGs are the middleman between local governments and public agencies to secure funding, promote projects and encourage growth on a regional level.
LSCOG, established in 1967, serves Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Calhoun and Orangeburg counties. The COG is governed by a Board of Directors, composed of thirty-nine members, whom are appointed by participating county governments. The Board set policy and provide direction to the COG’s programs, with guidance from the Executive Director and COG staff.
Our programs are divided into six departments: Administration; Aging, Disability and Transportation; Housing; Planning, Community and Economic Development; Tourism; and Workforce Development. Staff assist the aging population of the region; administer regional transportation programs; plan for future land use in communities; provide grant writing and administration services; provide workforce training and development; and much more. All of our programs and services help local governments best serve their constituents.
Programs are funded through a variety of sources, including federal and state grants, and contributions from local governments. Major funding sources include the Economic Development Administration, US Department of Housing and Urban Development, SC Department of Transportation, SC Department of Commerce, Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging, Older Americans Act and SC Department of Employment and Workforce.
In addition to our major funding sources, we work with several partners throughout the region to administer or fund our programs and services. These partnerships help our programs flourish in the region. Partners include the United Way of Aiken County, Savannah River Site Redevelopment Authority, Savannah River Site Retiree Association, school districts across the region and many others.
Like our sister-organizations across the state, Lower Savannah Council of Governments continually promotes a greater understanding of regional issues and opportunities. We encourage our partners and local governments to work together to enhance efficiency and effectiveness, and search for innovative ways to improve the quality of life for residents. Our staff and board are committed to ensuring that all six counties’ needs are served.
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It is the mission of the Lower Savannah Council of Governments to work with and on behalf of local governments to develop, implement and administer plans, programs and projects in cooperation with local, state and national stakeholders, to improve the quality of life for residents in the Lower Savannah Region.
Our vision is to be a nationally recognized, comprehensive resource that facilitates regional solutions through innovative and cooperative partnerships.
The Lower Savannah Council of Governments’ Board, Management and Staff are committed to the highest ethical standards of professional service, leadership and integrity. They strive together in service to the region to utilize problem solving techniques and develop a creative outlook for the future. The success of the organization depends on the talents, skills, and expertise of its board and staff working as a team. Lower Savannah Council of Governments’ understands the importance of its mission and vision and values the trust placed in this organization by the people it serves.