Top 5 Reasons Rural Counties Depend on Heart of Texas Council of Governments

Top 5 Reasons Rural Counties Depend on Heart of Texas Council of Governments Main Photo

26 May 2022


Rural Counties in the Heart of Texas count on HOTCOG as a trusted community resource. HOTCOG is dedicated to delivering the tools needed to continuously improve the quality of life for Heart of Texas residents.

1. HOTCOG is a source of rural public transportation for Heart of Texas residents.

HOTCOG/RTD provides rural public transportation creating an easy travel environment for those without access to a vehicle. Transportation is available Monday through Friday in the rural parts of Limestone, Bosque, Hill, Falls, and Freestone counties. HOTCOG owns 23 public transportation vehicles and the driver of each has a valid Commercial Driver’s License certification.

The Regional Transportation Coordination Council (RTCC) of HOTCOG was developed to serve as a leadership initiative to tackle regional transportation issues. RTCC makes recommendations on what to prioritize as far as regional transportation coordination in the area.

2. Various grants are offered through the organization. 

Heart of Texas organizations can apply for Homeland Security and Criminal Justice Grant funds through HOTCOG. To apply, an eligible organization must take part in a Grant Workshop. The workshops cover a multitude of topics including eligibility, ethics training, project writing, and more. A list of resources is available to help jurisdictions and agencies apply and become eligible for the grant funds. 

3. They provide funding for rural addressing 911 services.

The Automatic Location Identification (ALI) service is used to identify the physical location of someone who is calling 911 from either a landline or mobile phone. HOTCOG funds addressing maintenance activities for ALI in Limestone, Bosque, Hill, Falls, and Freestone counties. 

A Text-to-911 service is also available in these five counties. Citizens have the option to send a direct text message to 911 when they need help and cannot make a phone call.

HOTCOG is also responsible for several other 911-related activities such as developing the 911 Strategic Plan every two years and maintaining the geographic information system (GIS) within these counties. It is through services like these that rural counties in the Heart of Texas receive the assistance they need in the event of an emergency.

4. HOTCOG creates environmentally friendly initiatives. 

HOTCOG’s Environmental Development Programs include The Air Quality Program and The Solid Waste Program. The Air Quality Program centers on improving air quality and reducing ozone formation to enhance health and the overall quality of life for Heart of Texas residents. The Regional Solid Waste Grants Program involves receiving funding from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and offering education and training on solid waste.

Area Agency on Aging5. The Area Agency on Aging (AAA) gives meals to senior citizens.

HOTCOG’s AAA partnered with four service providers throughout the region to make healthy meals available to senior citizens. The meals are either home delivered or available at congregate sites. In 2020, HOTCOG won the NADO Impact Award for their AAAHOT Grocery Distribution Program.

Through HOTCOG, citizens have access to public transportation, grants, and emergency services. They also have the tools to keep the environment in great shape and to ensure that senior citizens are given proper meals. Rural counties depend on HOTCOG because they may not have the staff or connections to provide their residents with certain resources such as these.