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Strengthening communities, connecting the region, enriching lives

Since 1968, the Top of Alabama Regional Council of Governments (TARCOG) has united municipal, county, and state governments and federal agencies to work as a single team focused solely on improving the region that now includes more than 713,000 residents.

We identify and address common regional issues, opportunities, and challenges of northeast Alabama’s municipalities and counties, including DeKalb, Jackson, Limestone, Madison, and Marshall.


The TARCOG region envisions an inclusive community where every citizen enjoys an exceptional quality of life via the provision of a seamless education system, high-quality employment availability, recreational and cultural activities, and a myriad of housing choices.

Our goal will be achieved by way of an innovative economy that creatively capitalizes on and develops available resources while fostering our natural environment.

TARCOG will be a unifying regional partner with our member governments in an effort to develop and deliver services to improve the quality of life of the people and communities of northeast Alabama.

Help all residents thrive

Connect seniors and disabled people, their families, and caregivers with resources to ensure healthy, vibrant living.
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Improve our communities

Help Northeast Alabama communities establish roadmaps for the future with smart regional planning.
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Grow our economy

Foster economic development efforts to attract business investment, create jobs, and develop our local workforce.
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In 1968, local governments established TARCOG after recognizing the need for collaboration to address issues and concerns facing the region adequately and comprehensively.

A year later, the Alabama legislature approved the creation of regional development commissions, and TARCOG was designated as Substate Planning District 12. Later, TARCOG was designated as the region’s Area Agency on Aging.


Board & Staff

TARCOG’s membership comprises representatives from throughout our five-county service area. The members represent a wide range of community interests, including local governments, area colleges, chambers of commerce, private sector businesses and industries, and engaged citizens.

The council elects a board, which employs an executive director and administrative staff. An additional 80+ senior workers are assigned to our region’s member governments and not-for-profit organizations.


Contributions from local governments help fund TARCOG. The council uses those contributions to secure federal and state assistance. On average, TARCOG obtains more than $20 in federal and state grants and loans for the region for every $1 contributed by member governments.