Heart of Texas Council of Governments

Heart of Texas State Planning Region

Established: May 1966
Area: 5,647 sq. miles
Population: 362,642 (2017 est.)
Counties Served: Bosque, Falls, Freestone, Hill, Limestone, McLennan

To check for population statistic updates by region click here

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 Scope

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.

The Board of Directors meets twice each year: the fourth Thursday in August to approve the HOTCOG Annual Budget, and the fourth Thursday in January to elect Officers and members of the Executive Committee.

Area Agency on Aging of the Heart of Texas (AAAHOT) is one of 28 Area Agency on Aging contractors designated statewide by the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS).

AAAHOT provides access to needed social services, effective screening and assessment of individual needs, and advocacy for the older persons (age 60 and older) in our six-county region. Access services are provided to older persons and their family members’ or other caregivers.
Services provided directly by AAAHOT staff includes three core programs – benefits counseling, care coordination, and LTC ombudsman services.

AAAHOT also contracts with service providers throughout the region to provide nutrition (congregate and home delivered meals), demand transportation, medication management and assistance, caregiver support, and homemaker care.