“Coordinating today, to create a vision for tomorrow — Benton-Franklin COG Celebrating 50th Anniversary”
With the rapid growth this area has experienced, coordination between jurisdictions and agencies is a key component to planning for the future and solving today’s challenges. The Benton-Franklin Council of Governments’ (BFCG) mission is to ensure a thriving region through planning for transportation and economic development.
BFCG works with local governments, businesses, citizens and stakeholders to build strategies for the region’s future.
At BFCG, Benton and Franklin counties, along with cities, ports, transit agencies and the state work together to develop policies and make decisions about regional issues. BFCG works with local governments, businesses, citizens and stakeholders to build strategies for the region’s future and serves as a lead agency for discussions of multi-jurisdictional programs. A few of the major activities include the following:
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Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy
The comprehensive economic development strategy (CEDS) process is interactive, beginning with the submittal of projects from each of the cities, counties and ports intending to expand their jurisdiction’s capability to site, grow or promote additional new industry. Projects are categorized by the Strategy Committee based upon the goals, policies and strategies of the district.
Almost $5 million has been received by the region during the past five years from the Economic Development Administration to pay for local projects.
BFCG staff are engaging stakeholders to compile current and future strategies that will be incorporated into the 2016-20 CEDS, which will serve as a dynamic document with periodic updates as goals are met and visions across the region change and develop over time.
Metropolitan Transportation Plan
The MTP is the metropolitan area long-range transportation plan. The plan outlines the investments and strategies needed to keep the region moving as we grow. The MTP is developed every five years in accordance with state and federal guidelines.
The plan establishes consistency with the jurisdictions six-year Transportation Improvement Programs (TIP) and the BFCG TIP, the Ben Franklin Transit development program and the land use and transportation elements of city and county comprehensive plans.
Staff are under way on drafting the next metropolitan transportation plan.
BFCG staff are under way on drafting the next MTP. The next plan will identify investments to support our expected growth and improve transportation services to people and businesses.
This includes new goals and policies for how we fund transportation improvements for the next 20 years. As this plan is updated, BFCG will invite comments from the public through surveys and open houses.
Our agency develops plans and programs for the region such as the Regional Bicycle & Pedestrian Plan and Map, Travel Demand Modeling & GIS services, and certification of the transportation element of the local comprehensive plans.
BFCG also often serves as lead agency for discussions of multi-jurisdictional programs — from the formation of Ben Franklin Transit to the deliberation of Regional Public Facilities.
BFCG administers the Regional Revolving Loan Fund (RRLF), Columbia Regional Economic Development Trust (CREDiT), and Hanford Area Economic Investment Fund (HAEIF), which are aimed at job creation and retention by providing financing to small businesses and entrepreneurs.