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Cities, townships and counties in rural areas often cannot afford the staff to do grant writing, comprehensive land use, zoning, transportation planning, digital mapping, economic & community development, integrated environmental planning, & the coordination of other services. The Northeast Michigan Council of Governments (NEMCOG) was established in 1968 as a multi-county organization to pool resources for the assistance of local governments in the region. NEMCOG is governed by a policy board that includes elected officials, business leaders and citizen representatives from throughout the eight-county region.  Services are supported by local government appropriations, special services contracts and state and federal grants.

NEMCOG is a catalyst for strategic planning and, in this role, has assisted local governments obtain millions of dollars in federal and state grants for vital local projects and services. In addition to planning, NEMCOG also sponsors many other programs, including Community Correction and Watershed Projects.

NEMCOG Region (8-county): Alcona County, Alpena County, Cheboygan County, Crawford County, Montmorency County, Oscoda County, Otsego County, and Presque Isle County (Emmet County is in the NW region but is also a member of NEMCOG).

Northeast Michigan Prosperity Region (11-county): Alcona County, Alpena County, Cheboygan County, Crawford County, Iosco County, Montmorency County, Ogemaw County, Oscoda County, Otsego County, Presque Isle County, and Roscommon County.