Government Services Division
The activities of the Government Services Division are as diverse as the needs of the communities we serve. Planning helps individual communities deal with needs ranging from land use and transportation to environmental reviews.
In dealing with these issues, assistance in researching, writing, and administering grants is often required. We prepare an annual Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) for the region and assist cities and counties in obtaining state and federal grants to implement the strategy. The CEDS document is located here: http://www.uppersavannah.com/CEDS2013.pdf. As an affiliate of the State Data Center, we assist in the distribution of current Census data and the forecasting of future conditions.
A growing partnership with the South Carolina Department of Transportation has enabled Upper Savannah COG to take a more active role in regional transportation issues. To date, USCOG and SCDOT have jointly created a regional traffic model and a long-range regional plan.
Regular consultation with SCDOT gives local officials an opportunity to comment upon needed improvements. Future issues of regional importance include coordinating mass transit and addressing the safety improvements to roadways and bridges.
For State Transportation Plan with information by county; click http://www.scdot.org/inside/stip_district2.aspx
DOT Statewide Planning FAQ plus the role of COGs: http://www.scdot.org/inside/pdfs/planning/STP-UpperSavannah.pdf
An integral component of planning is the Geographic Information System (GIS). This computer-based program allows us to store and retrieve data for a variety of planning and development applications. The end product of this system is often a map showing certain social, economic, or natural characteristics.
Different layers of information can be added to or removed from an image to show features such as concentrations of substandard housing or the proximity to the nearest water line. We also use Global Positioning Systems (GPS) satellite technology to locate and map features.
For quick maps, the US Census Bureau website has an interactive mapping tool using TIGER/Line data. Click here for TIGER Maps.
Through continued use of these resources, Upper Savannah will continue to be a resource for local governments with questions and needs related to developing stronger communities. One way to do this is by providing training for local officials. Partnerships with the Municipal Association of South Carolina (MASC) and the state planning association (SCAPA) make Upper Savannah the local center for training and continuing education programs. Options for training include regularly scheduled programs via satellite or on-demand programs that can be taken directly to the local government.