The Isothermal Planning and Development Commission (Isothermal Regional Commission/The Commission) is the regional Council of Governments for Cleveland, McDowell, Polk and Rutherford Counties in Western North Carolina and the municipalities therein.

The Commission functions to aid, assist and improve the capabilities of local governments in administration, planning, fiscal management and development.  The membership of the Commission consists of the 28 county and municipal governments that make up the Isothermal Region which include the member governments of Polk, Cleveland, Rutherford and McDowell Counties.

The Commission serves its members and their citizens by fostering regional collaboration, and by providing professional and technical expertise.  IPDC houses the region’s Area Agency on Aging, Housing Programs, and also provides services through its Economic, Community and Workforce Development programs, and Local Government and Technical Assistance programs.


The Commission was created in 1966 as a Local Development District (LDD) serving McDowell, Polk and Rutherford counties, under the Appalachian Regional Development Act.  The State of North Carolina enacted legislation in 1969 creating 16 regional Councils of Government (COGs), adding Cleveland county to Region C.

The Commission depends on a variety of funding sources, including membership dues, as well as state, federal and other grants and funding sources.


On June 12, 2018, the Isothermal Regional Commission Board of Directors approved the 2018-2019 Budget.

The Isothermal Regional Commission is a local government organization and a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.  Our IRS Form 990 is available upon request.  To review a copy of this form, please contact Judy Lynch, Clerk to the IPDC Board at 828-287-2281.


The Commission’s financial statements are audited after each fiscal year.  On March 8th, 2018, the audit for Fiscal Year 2017 was completed and released.

The Commission’s Fiscal Year 2016 Audit was completed on November 15th, 2016.

Organizational Chart

Click here to view the Commission’s Organizational Chart (revised April 2018)

The Benefits of a Regional Council

As members of the Isothermal Regional Commission, local governments:

  • Share information to solve common problems
  • Avoic duplication of efforts and better coordinate services
  • Work through a single agency to obtain and administer funds from numerous federal and state agencies, as well as from private foundations and corporations
  • Use the Commission’s professional expertise to aid in local operations
  • Promote cooperation between the public and private sector
  • Determine ways of improving our quality of life