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

IPDC 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.

IPDC 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 Benefits of a Regional Council

As members of the Isothermal Planning and Development 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


IPDC 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.

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

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