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The Northern Middlesex Council of Governments is one of thirteen regional planning agencies within Massachusetts. Formed under Chapter 40B of the Massachusetts General Laws, NMCOG works with the communities of the Greater Lowell region to support and enhance a wide range of planning objectives related to land use, environmental protection, energy, economic development, housing, public health, public safety, municipal service delivery and transportation. NMCOG maintains a staff of professional planners to assist member communities in designing, facilitating, and implementing community development programs and planning initiatives which further the interests of the overall region.  Special legislation (Chapter 420 of the Acts of 1989) also allows the Council to perform a wide variety of non-planning functions on behalf of its members. 

The Council

NMCOG is governed by a policy board of local elected officials from its member municipalities of Billerica, Chelmsford, Dracut, Dunstable, Lowell, Pepperell, Tewksbury, Tyngsborough and Westford. Each community is represented on the Council by a chief elected official (Selectman or City Councilor) and a planning board member, and each community also has the option of appointing one alternate. This direct community representation dramatically improves the level of communication and coordination at the local level. Assessments upon the member communities are made on an equal per capita basis and are used to provide the "local share" of various projects undertaken by NMCOG through State and Federal grant programs.

Lowell photos are courtesy of Jennifer Myers.