The Heart of Texas Council of Governments (HOTCOG) is an organization of local governments working together voluntarily to solve mutual problems and plan for the future of the six county area. Currently, HOTCOG has over 80 member governments made up of: counties, cities, school districts, community colleges, and special districts.
HOTCOG was originally established in 1966 and serves a geographic area covering Bosque, Falls, Freestone, Hill, Limestone and McLennan counties.
Regional councils, by law, are political subdivisions of the state; with authority to plan and initiate needed cooperative projects, but does not have powers to regulate or tax, which are exclusively assigned to cities and counties. As any other political subdivision, regional councils must abide by laws governing open meetings, open records and the conduct of public officials. HOTCOG is also required to obtain an annual audit to assure accountability of public funds.
HOTCOG’s basic responsibilities include:
- planning for area development
- implementing regional plans or recommendations
- contracting with members to provide certain services
- providing review and comment on proposals seeking federal and state financial assistance
- implementing grant services from federal and state programs
- administrative and fiscal agent for the Heart of Texas Workforce Development Board
Other duties include comprehensive planning for regional employment and training needs, criminal justice, economic development, Homeland Security, emergency preparedness, 9-1-1, solid waste, air quality, aging, transportation and rural development. HOTCOG also provides local governments with technical assistance and training.