The Centralina Council of Governments is looking for a consultant to help with a regional planning project that has been met with skepticism by officials in some Charlotte-area counties.
On Tuesday, CCOG issued an invitation to interested consultants to submit their qualifications to work on the Connect our Future project. Aug. 30 is the deadline for submissions.
The project is supposed to rely on feedback from residents, businesses, government officials and nonprofits to produce a “regional growth framework to grow jobs and the economy, improve quality of life and control the cost of government” in 14 Charlotte-area counties, according to CCOG.
CCOG, one of about 16 COGs in the state, represents nine Charlotte-area counties. Last month, Michelle Nance, chairwoman of CCOG’s executive board, lamented that the Charlotte region “is the fastest-growing region in the country, and yet we have no shared regional framework for addressing issues and opportunities.”
CCOG says the population of the 14-county area is 2.43 million and expected to grow by 50 percent in 20 years and double in 40.
But some have questioned the need for Connect our Future, which is being funded with $4.9 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Officials throughout the Charlotte area have expressed concerns about the project, saying they are worried about having their voices heard and questioning the need for such a planning project when towns and cities already handle their own planning.
In Cabarrus County and the town of Cornelius, for example, officials have had debates over joining the project.
In addition to the HUD funding, $3 million for the project will come from in-kind contributions from governments, businesses, nonprofits and others, CCOG has said.
To view the request for qualifications, click here.