Regional Cooperation

cooperationThe COG acts as a mutual forum to discuss and bring into focus regional challenges and opportunities, collect and maintain data of a regional interest, strive to improve communication, coordination and intergovernmental cooperation between all levels of government, facilitate cooperative agreements, seek technical assistance, and to coordinate Federal, State and Local programs of regional importance.

ANNUAL MUNICIPAL DIRECTORY – This is a complete listing of our municipal membership listing elected and appointed officials and means of contact. Also, a listing of geographic and budgetary information is included.

CATV MODEL FRANCHISE AGREEMENT – The COG successfully hired a single telecommunications attorney in order to negotiate new franchise agreements with eleven Comcast and four Armstrong municipalities. Significant and considerable monies were saved by having the COG administer and coordinate meetings between the cable providers, attorneys, municipal managers, and school district officials. In this case, the effort concluded in a ten-year franchise agreement with more favorable terms to the municipalities, tighter performance standards and higher franchise fees. Due to the diligent efforts of our attorney, all franchise agreements are ninety-five percent identical in language.

CATV MODEL R.O.W. ORDINANCE – This activity was a direct out growth of the franchise negotiation. Our attorney, Dan Cohen, authored this document in order to give our municipalities more specific control of activities of all types of telecommunications companies within municipal owned right-of ways. Under certain circumstances, fees are applicable to the utilities. It is my understanding that this was one of the first ordinances of its’ kind in our area.

ELECTRIC CHOICE – During the initiation of the ‘electric choice program’ by the State, the COG participated in receiving competitive proposals from electric providers and brokers to the benefit of our collective municipal electric costs and ultimately to the benefit of the residents of our municipalities. An analogous program was also initiated by the COG in order to drive a more advantageous price for municipal phone service. Through these undertakings it has also become apparent that private firms that specialize in utility bill review can help to locate municipal billing errors by utilities and save our municipalities considerable funds

EQUIPMENT SHARING – From time to time the COG will purchase and administer the municipal sharing of equipment. If and when the equipment no longer serves a purpose, the equipment is often spun-off to a municipal member for their sole use or continued operation for the benefit of all COG municipal members. (Examples of the above include the following: portable truck scales, electronic traffic counters and speed recorders, wood chipper, and tub grinder.) The COG remains open to purchases along these lines in order to decrease capital and operating costs for all of our member municipalities. A combination of grants and self-financing techniques has been utilized in order to secure purchases.

MANAGERS ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETINGS – NHCOG convenes these meetings on a regular monthly basis in order to discuss local government issues of common interest among the membership and to brainstorm and initiate ideas for new projects and programs.

MUNICIPAL  TOUR/FORUM COORDINATION – The COG acts to coordinate the logistics and presentations requested by our municipal members or the office of the County Chief Executive in order to give pertinent information on present and planned intergovernmental cooperation projects and programs.

SHARED C.S.I. POLICE VAN – A grant was received from DCED, through the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office in order to purchase and retro-fit a van for regional crime scene investigation purposes. The van was purchased approximately two years ago and has been operating out of Hampton Township as its central point-of deployment. It is available to any NHCOG municipal police department. This is a self-supporting operational program at present and all expenses come from an annual municipal mandated fee.

SURVEY REQUESTS AND COMPILATION - The COG will undertake surveys and compile same for topics of general interest, at the request of the Managers, either via e-mail or fax. Results are shared with all participants.