TMACOG History

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TMACOG History

1960sTwo predecessor agencies are formed: TRAPA (Toledo Regional Area Plan for Action) and the Area Coordinating Committee. Southern Monroe County in Michigan and Lucas and Wood Counties in Ohio participate in both groups.

1970sA formative period for the organization. TMACOG grows and begins to focus on water quality and transportation when TRAPA merges into TMACOG.

1980sRegional governments fall on hard times and must become more innovative to survive.

1990sTMACOG forges new partnerships and gains increased responsibility for transportation planning and air quality.

TodayFocus on creating regional partnerships and service to members expands TMACOG's membership.


Complete History
1960s — Two predecessor agencies are formed: TRAPA (Toledo Regional Area Plan for Action) and the Area Coordinating Committee. Southern Monroe County in Michigan and Lucas and Wood Counties in Ohio participate in both groups.

Two predecessor organizations fulfilled some of the duties that TMACOG now performs:
Transportation planning was formally organized in 1962 through agreements of cooperation among Lucas, Wood, and Monroe counties, and the cities of Maumee, Oregon, Perrysburg, Sylvania, and Toledo. The organization was called the Toledo Regional Area Plan for Action (TRAPA)—which existed until 1975 when it was absorbed into TMACOG.

• Also in the 1960s, public officials in southern Monroe, Lucas, and Wood Counties formed the Area Coordinating Committee. This group of about 200 persons worked together on area-wide problems.

On April 23, 1968, members approved TMACOG's bylaws, creating the organization in its first meeting under Chapter 167 of the Ohio Revised Code (O.R.C.) and the Michigan Public Act No. 7 (Ex. Sess.). The first formally organized meeting was held on May 31, 1968, in the City of Oregon’s council chambers. At this meeting, the first General Assembly was held, the Executive Committee [Board of Trustees] meetings were established on a monthly basis, and the General Assembly meetings emerged as biannual events.

The agency was established as a voluntary organization of local governments in Lucas and Wood counties in Ohio; and Erie, Bedford, and Whiteford townships, and the City of Luna Pier in Monroe County, Michigan. TMACOG was formed primarily to review federally funded projects and to address federal initiatives and local intergovernmental needs. This focus on regionalism was the result of the Intergovernmental Relations Act of 1966, and the fact that in the 1960s, the federal government gave money to local governments directly—avoiding the state. TMACOG had six staff members.

1970s — A formative period for Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments. TMACOG grows and begins to focus on water quality and transportation when TRAPA merges into TMACOG.

The early 1970s served as the formative period for the organization. TMACOG was occupied with reviewing federal grants and planning for the future.

In 1974, TMACOG was designated by the State of Ohio as a Regional Planning and Development Organization (RPDO) with the addition of Ottawa, Sandusky, and Erie counties to its region. By executive order, the governor of Ohio divided the entire state into regions and officially designated each of them as an RPDO. TMACOG now became a five-county Ohio and one-county Michigan region. Structure changes included expanding the Executive Committee [Board of Trustees] from 27 to 37 members.

In 1974 and 1975, TMACOG became the Water Quality Planning Agency under Section 208 of the Clean Water Act of 1972. The Areawide Water Quality Planning Council (AWQPC) was formed and became very active. When TRAPA merged into TMACOG, it became the Transportation and Land use Committee (TALUC).Overall, water quality planning and transportation planning created whole new fields of study and interest. Staffing grew to about 40 employees.

During the 1970s, TMACOG was recognized by the state and federal governments as the areawide agency responsible for carrying out programs that led to planned rural development and urban growth, better transportation systems, improved water and air quality, wiser use of energy and natural resources, and long-term economic vitality.
Concentrating on federally mandated programs, TMACOG was a neutral forum to:
• discuss and handle shared areawide problems
•provide management and technical assistance to member communities
•prepare comprehensive and functional plans to guide and provide for the orderly growth and development or rehabilitation of a given area

1980s—Regional governments fall on hard times and must become more innovative to survive.

In the 1980s, during the Reagan administration, the federal fiscal picture worsened, and the programs set by federal priorities moved greater responsibility to state governments. As a result, TMACOG began focusing on the state and local governments for program direction and funding. Without some of the federal funds and mandates, TMACOG membership began to decline, and its budget dropped significantly. Staffing dropped to less than 20 by mid-decade. The period of 1980 through about 1985 proved to be lean times for regional organizations and local governments.

To remain alive, TMACOG was forced to become more entrepreneurial, service-oriented, and “local.”
TMACOG broadened its focus to include:
• railroad projects
• residential energy conservation
• air and water pollution
• mass transit and economic development

In terms of water pollution, TMACOG surveyed dump sites in the region. TMACOG became active in grantsmanship.

In the late 1980s, TMACOG implemented many of its plans. These programs:
• enhanced home rule, management, and infrastructure
• informed local communities and improved operations
• focused on small village needs, including sewers, formed closer ties with the agricultural community, and organized assistance with rural areas
• developed the Remedial Action Plan (the RAP) for the Maumee River basin
• Began the Student Watershed Watch, involving high school students in water quality testing programs

Intergovernmental relations were given a more prominent role as a strategy to bring about change.

The agency also found time to conduct workshops and seminars on topics of interest to local elected officials. Despite the loss of funds and members, TMACOG was able to add another transportation function to its spectrum: Share A Ride carpool matching service.

TMACOG also became involved in new projects. These included:
• a study determining the need for a new highway crossing of the Maumee River
• negotiations around development of the Maumee River basin clean up
• preparation of a master plan for the greater Toledo area for 2010
• drafting a report on abandoned landfills in the Toledo area

In 1988, with the adoption of the Year 2010 Transportation Plan, major transportation projects began to be implemented through environmental studies, feasibility studies, and preliminary engineering. This included U.S. 24 (the Fort to Port project, terminating in Fort Wayne, Indiana); Rails to Trails projects; a new Maumee River Crossing; and the Remedial Action Program (RAP) for the Maumee River. As circumstances in the region changed, TMACOG evolved to meet new challenges.

1990s—TMACOG forges new partnerships and gains increased responsibility for transportation planning and air quality.

In 1991, with the passage of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 (CAAA) and the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA), TMACOG gained increased responsibility in:
• transportation planning
• air quality planning
• areawide development

Empowered local elected officials made major decisions on locating transportation facilities and spending federal funds. Through the mid-1990s, TMACOG membership increased as both Ottawa and Wood counties rejoined, as did a number of villages and townships.
In 1993, membership stood at 60.

Under Governor Voinovich, the state was divided up into economic development regions and northwest Ohio was designated a 10-county region with the governor's regional office located in Toledo. This region stretches from the Indiana state line to the City of Vermilion in the east.

In the mid-‘90s, public officials and the private sector increasingly recognized that economic development in northwest Ohio must be a regional effort. TMACOG is one of the major participants in a new attitude of cooperation and consultation. Staff rises to 30. TMACOG begins to present an annual Transportation Summit, a gathering of all area stakeholders to review news and plans.

During the late 1990s, TMACOG made major strides in regionalism and public-private partnerships. By adding non-governments as members and adopting a new strategic plan Look Toward 2003, TMACOG launched new initiatives that became part of the mission to bring public and private agencies together to create strategies and implement plans to build a strong regional community. Membership rises to about 100 governmental members and 50 non-governmental members.

Modern Era

2000sTMACOG leadership focuses on creating regional partnerships. Service to members expands TMACOG's membership. Student Watershed Watch, Commuter programs, Transportation Summit, Ozone Action Season, Transportation Legislative Agenda.

The turn of the century marked a transformative year of reorganization. TMACOG began 2000 with a new president and new initiatives. The TMACOG leadership arranged to meet with all members and stakeholders to focus its mission and build confidence in TMACOG as an agency.
• Tony Reams becomes president (still serving 2014)
• Commuter Services expands: CommuterLINK in its second year
• MPO certification complete
• TMACOG hosts a second Women in Politics seminar
• Growth Strategies Committee continues seminars and studies
• TMACOG completed Expressway Needs Major Investment Study, a game plan guiding efforts to obtain funding for needed projects
• Railroad Grade Separation program was established
• TMACOG added staff in project monitoring, GIS, and database management
• Portage River Hydrological Study was begun
• Swan Creek Plan of Action begins, examining sewage problems and loss of floodplains
• Ottawa River Risk Assessment focuses on priorities for cleaning up contaminated sediments

• Eighth annual B-Bopp week – exploration of transportation alternatives celebrates train travel, bicycles, public transit, walking
• Perrysburg sewer agreement completed
• Official groundbreaking for the Maumee River Crossing in May 28, 2014
• Transportation Legislative Agenda – First of its kind produced with regional stakeholders
• First gas cap testing and replacement program began
• TMACOG presented a safety forum with FBI concerning preparedness for terrorist activities and emergency response plans
• TMACOG hired a full-time Maumee River coordinator

• TMACOG establishes Vision and Mission statements for the agency and for major councils.
To improve quality of life in the region, TMACOG will:
Promote a positive identity for the region
Enhance awareness of the region’s assets and opportunities
Be an impartial broker of Regional disputes and challenges
Provide stakeholder a voice in regional decision-making

• Swan Creek Plan of Action complete
• Regional stormwater management standards manual published
• Ottawa River Risk Assessment published identifying critical locations
• Filming and airing of Fate of a River, Revisited through Maumee RAP
• Studies at Maumee Bay – bacteria studies completed with financial contributions from the cities of Oregon and Toledo
• Growth Strategies Council presents best practices awards in eight categories. Publishes Recommendations on Good Local Planning Practices and the    Growth Strategies Legislative Agenda. Finalized
• Regional Core Circulator Study team selected
• TMACOG began Expressway Needs Major Investment Study
TMACOG website goes live, changing the way TMACOG communicates with members and the general public
• Passenger Rail committee established
• TMACOG is one of 12 pilot cities to test the Segway

• TMACOG celebrates 35 years of service. Tenure is noted at General Assembly and with special publications
Gas cap testing program continues
Give Water A Hand – A partnership to fulfill outreach and education component of water permits – is created
• Studies suggest that Wolf Creek is a significant source of bacteria at the Lake Erie beaches of Maumee Bay State Park
• Lucas County Wetland Map created – an inventory to locate sites of remaining wetland and mitigation projects
• A-95 Clearing House reviews updated
• Growth strategies is ongoing looking at US 24 land use
• A new legislative agenda is produced
• Regional Core circulator study team is presented
ITS (Intelligent Transportation System) architecture begins
• Regional Transit Study Phase 1 is underway
• B-Bopp in its tenth year of celebrating alternative transportation
• In TMACOG administration, the Public Relations and Marketing committees are restructured as a new Communications committee

• Membership remains steady at about 150 members: 100 governmental and 50 non-governmental including park districts, universities, consultants,    advocacy groups, and other organizations concerned with quality of life in the region.
• The Transportation department published the first comprehensive Regional Transit Study
• Hosted presentation of Ohio’s long-term transportation plan: Access Ohio
• 2025 Regional Transportation Plan – Update 2004 accepted by TMACOG Executive Committee
• Connecting to the Core - transit options between UT and downtown presented
• Completed Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) architecture
• Pursuing purchase of property for Westside Technology Corridor
• Revision of the I-75/475 interchange near the old Jeep plant scheduled as a top priority
• Freight Planning increases as a TMACOG priority, featured at twelfth annual Transportation Summit meeting
• Publications include Traffic Flow Map, Functional Class Map, School Pedestrian Survey
• Revisions to the 208 Areawide Water Quality Management Plan certified by Ohio Governor Taft
• Maumee Remedial Action Plan (RAP) submitted the new Maumee River Watershed Action Plan
• Completed large grant from U.S. EPA targeting Ottawa River sediments and pursued further testing options
• Prepared “Great Lakes Legacy” proposal: accepted by U.S. EPA and awaiting federal funding
• RAP Stream and Septic Systems program completed, identified failing septic systems and provided homeowner education
• Maumee Bay Bacterial Study identified Wolf Creek as one significant contributor of E. coli bacteria
• Lucas County Wetlands Map completed
• Home Sewage Treatment System Plans helped Hancock, Ottawa, Sandusky, and Wood counties qualify the region for 319 grants
• Increased activity in the Portage River watershed with Portage River Student Congress and proposal to upgrade septic systems in the watershed

• Commuter Service programs are supported by Lucas County funding which is increased by 60 percent in 2005.
• A 3-year Maumee Bay Bacteria Study is completed and results are announced.
• A new 3-year pilot program begins in the Swan Creek watershed with the goal of identifying priority development and conservation areas.
• TMACOG receives a grant to help local governments meet regulations for Construction Site Stormwater Control.
• Give Water A Hand completes the household education component and begins a business education program
• Stage 2 of the Maumee River Watershed Restoration Plan is complete
• Plans are underway for remediation of contaminated sediment in parts of the Ottawa River identified by sampling and testing.
• The Regional Core Circulator Study completed.
• Follow up to the Regional Transit Study continues
• The 2006-2009 Transportation Improvement Program budgets more than $600 million.
• New long range transportation plan begins: “On the Move: 2007-2035 Transportation Plan”
• A forum on freight safety looks at rail quiet zones
• Transportation Legislative Agenda published
• ITS architecture continues, looks at integration opportunities for future planning

• The Commuter Services department works with Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority to develop a coordinated public transit-human services    transportation plan for the region.
• Portage River Septic System Replacement Program replacing 54 systems in four counties: Hancock, Ottawa, Sandusky, and Wood.
Stormwater Management Standards Manual completely revised and updated in 2006, with model ordinance language
• Grant funds Portage River Watershed Coordinator
• Student water quality testing - Maumee RAP (17th year) and the Portage River Basin (12th year)
• Grant received for shoreline and wetlands restoration plan for Maumee Bay state park and for Ottawa River habitat restoration plan
• Transportation stakeholders in the region develop the Lake Erie West Global Logistics Hub concept – emphasized inland port development
• Forum on Short Sea Shipping explored options for Great Lakes and Coastal shipping
• Preparations are underway for ribbon cutting on Veterans’ Glass City Skyway (new Maumee River crossing). Memorial design and site completed for    workers killed in its construction.
• Roadway Safety Summit presented in partnership with ODOT and ODPS
• TMACOG is a partner in the University of Toledo Intermodal Transportation Institute

• In 2007, Commuter Services staff took on additional responsibilities for qualifying applicants and monitoring the program. CommuterLINK also began to    work with a company that uses vans equipped to transport people who use wheelchairs.
• In 2007, three amendments to the Areawide Water Quality Management Plan (208 Plan) addressed needs of members.
• A Stormwater workshop demonstrated best management practices at construction sites.
• Stormwater Coalition members contributed input to proposed riparian setback language.
• The TMACOG Board of Trustees passed a resolution June 20 adopting the Stormwater Management Standards Manual – Second Edition as
   a policy document.
• Get the Lead Out is a work day that cleaned river banks on the Maumee River.
• The 18th annual Student Watershed Watch Summit was held in November.
• Swan Creek Pilot Program added priority agricultural areas to its planning
• The Portage Home Sewage Treatment Plant Replacement Program was able to extend replacements to additional households
• A report to community on the Ottawa River was presented at a public meeting in May to outline health of the river and review status of efforts to    remediate known problems.
• Ottawa River Habitat Restoration Inventory – The project solicited landowners to volunteer to have their land evaluated. Result is a short list of    properties suitable for habitat restoration.
• In 2007, the region is in full compliance with all measured air pollutants.
• TMACOG publishes two summaries of the 2035 Plan: Technical Summary, and Popular Summary
• The Veterans’ Glass City Skyway opens – the culmination of more than 20 years of effort by TMACOG members, ODOT, and regional governments.
• TMACOG presents the first ever Ohio Conference on Freight. The conference is a success and will become an annual event.
• Transit Forum – At the request of suburban mayors, TMACOG facilitates a series of meetings to address cost and operating procedures for public    transit. A wide range of interested parties attend.
• TMACOG’s Transportation Public Involvement Policy was updated in 2007 to comply with SAFETEA-LU.
• TMACOG sponsors Bike to Work Day – TMACOG is the local sponsor of this national event held in May. TARTA is co-sponsor of Bike Week.
• Pedestrian & Bikeways – TMACOG and partners created the 2035 Bicycle Network Map, and is planning for new User’s Guide to Bicycle Facilities in    Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan and new bicycle user maps.

• Economic downturn affects the nation and the local economy. Local governments see a drop in tax collection and also cuts in funding from state    and federal sources. Ninety-three percent of TMACOG members maintain their membership.
• Share A Ride goes to online registration
• Produced 2008-2009 transportation legislative agenda
• TMACOG’s transportation planning process is certified by federal agencies
• OCF second year
• Crash data, traffic counts, ITS
• TMACOG publishes an updated Bike Facilities Guide for Recreational Riding
• In the Portage River watershed – complete home sewage treatment plant replacement program in Hancock, Ottawa, Sandusky and Wood counties
• Upgrade of the Stormwater Management Standards Manual published.
• TMACOG facilitates evaluation of local applications for the Clean Ohio fund. More than $1.7 million approved for preservation of open space
   in Lucas County
• Plans designed (by partners) for a wetland to trap and treat bacteria that is known to be infiltrating through ditches to the Lake Erie Beaches at    Maumee Bay State Park.
• Dam Remediation at Ottawa River in Village of Ottawa Hills.
• Dam remediation on Swan Creek in Highland Park in Toledo , a lowhead dam was remediated with gradual stepdown
• Swan Creek Balanced growth plan concludes initial study, implementation of plans is researched.

• The economy continues to suffer
• The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provides economic stimulus funds to the region. TMACOG is well-prepared to help members take    advantage of funds for ‘shovel-ready’ projects through the TIP and the long range transportation plan, drinking water, and water pollution control    projects.
• TMACOG holds meetings in each member county to ensure that programs and activities are serving people in all parts of the region.
• Freight infrastructure is growing in the region. TMACOG supports development of intermodal yards in Toledo and North Baltimore. Private industry    builds a series of distribution centers in the region.
Train Day Toledo organized by re-constituted Northwest Ohio Passenger Rail Association.
• Bike Week (and Train Day) celebrate and encourage transportation alternatives to the passenger vehicle.
• Wolf Creek Committee formed to continue to explore questions and seek answers to the problem of bacterial contamination at the Lake Erie    beaches of Maumee Bay State Park.
• Industrial oil spill in a Portage River tributary bring attention to the condition of the river.
• TMACOG partners with other regional groups on a white paper addressing the problems of combined sewer overflows, making recommendations    for affordability criteria and funding.
• Substantial increase in funding for administration of the Areawide Water Quality Management Plan (208 Plan).
• TMACOG hosts Clean Fuels Ohio programs to encourage innovation for fleet operators.

2010s –TMACOG expands regional influence through educational programs and service to members. TMACOG Tech programming, Student Watershed Watch, Transportation Summit, Ohio Conference on Freight, training for stormwater planners.

• In this Census year, TMACOG facilitates meetings to demonstrate the value of the census to elected officials. TMACOG analyses Census data as    part of services to members
• Harmful Algal Blooms return to Lake Erie and now seem to be an inevitable summer occurrence. Studies seek to find the cause and propose    remedies.
• Swan Creek Watershed Balanced Growth committee formed to implement initiatives of the balanced growth plan.
• Elected officials’ guide to stormwater management produced. This condensed handbook is a guide to regulation and outlines best management    practices.
Scrapyard pollution Prevention Plan is part of focused effort to protect Ottawa River
• Large scale dredging operation removes and safely disposes of contaminated sediment in the most badly affected portions of the Ottawa River,    made possible by years of testing and studies encouraged and facilitated by TMACOG members.
• Final round of federal stimulus money applied to TIP projects, pushing important projects forward on the planned timeline.

• A group of partners secures the property known as the Westside Corridor for future public use.
• Commuter services programs funded through Lucas County are ended, staffing contracts at TMACOG. Full time employees at 22.
• TMACOG is asked to facilitate a Regional Water Utility discussion to pursue fair and equitable distribution of drinking water.
• TMACOG partners to present municipal utility workshops on the financial aspects of water and sewer utilities.
• Salvage & Stewardship, the scrapyard pollution prevention plan – continues. TMACOG is a facilitator.
• TMACOG embraces social media as another way to stay in touch with members.
• Ottawa River advisories lifted on some parts of the river after the dredging, dam removal, and other projects reduce dangerous sediment and    improve habitat
• Further efforts to improve Ottawa River habitat begin at the main campus of the University of Toledo. TMACOG provides project manager.
• Grants of inventory of best management practices in Swan Creek watershed.
• Safety Locations & Measures Report identifies the top 25 crash locations in the region, determine the leading causes of serious injuries and death    and recommend appropriate counter measures.
• TMACOG and partners produce a briefing paper and recommendations regarding the proposed leasing of the Ohio Turnpike.
• Passenger Rail Committee expands into the Public Transit & Passenger Rail Committee
• Portage River Watershed Coordinator position is eliminated. A sustaining grant was expired and new grants were not found to replace them.

• Research into harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie leans toward phosphorus as a primary cause. Sources include animal waste, septic systems, and    runoff of fertilizer from agriculture.
• TMACOG presents good housekeeping workshops to local governments to protect water from spills and chemicals used in road maintenance.
• Sixth annual Ohio Conference on Freight and attendance continues to rise as does greater national stature of the event
• Passenger Rail Forum held to review news in Ohio and neighboring states
• National Train Day continues to build, is one of the largest Train Day celebrations in the U.S.
• Bike Week expands to Bike Month
• Certification review of TMACOG planning process commends TMACOG
• TMACOG Regional Sidewalk Policy completed
Membership stands at 90 governmental members and 48 non-governmental members.

• TMACOG Tech programs popular with members. Staff plans to present four to six programs each year.
• TMACOG bylaws changed to eliminate second vice chair, add members to serve on some committees
• Bylaws add Programming and Education Committee
• Westside Corridor committee busy with details of securing and consolidating plans for development. Name changed to Chessie Circle Trail.
• Safety Locations and Measures Report and Congestion Management Report are produced and published.
• Functional Road Classification – done every 10 years to inventory and classify area highways and streets.
• TMACOG staff provides a project manager for a large rehabilitation project at Toledo Botanical Garden. Project restores healthy water flow and    vastly improves water features at the park.
• Stormwater training provided by TMACOG CPESC.
• TMACOG recognized for excellence in good government by the Ohio Auditor of State.
• The TMACOG website is re-designed and re-launched with improved functionality and more resources.

• Stormwater Coalition grows with new membership from the City of Maumee.
• TMACOG Tech programs
Clean Ohio Fund continues – provides major support for Metroparks of the Toledo area efforts to preserve open land in the Oak Openings region as    well as other area open lands and parks.
• Microcystis levels in Toledo drinking water cause the city to ban use of water for three days in August. National attention is drawn to the problem    of algae blooms in Lake Erie and other waterways.
Membership holding steady although balance shifts. The bn number of non-governmental members exceeds one-third of total membership for
   the first time.


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