Taking advantage of a change in the bylaws of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, Perry Township trustees sought to become a stand-alone member.
Previously, this level of government in central Ohio was represented on MORPC by the county association of trustees, according to Chet J. Chaney, Perry Township trustee.
The application for individual membership was approved recently by the MORPC board.
MORPC also approved an application from Prairie Township.
Executive Director William Murdock said MORPC officials and members are pleased to welcome the townships.
"Townships are an important part of our local government partners and we welcome their voice in our collective efforts to work on regional challenges," Murdock said.
"Townships, because of our size, have been partnering for years," Chaney said.
"It's a matter of being able to serve our residents in a manner they expect and deserve," he added.
"But to continue to do that ... we have to do that balancing act of providing that service in a more cost-efficient way."
Perry Township will have one representative as a voting member at MORPC meetings while the larger Prairie Township will have two, according to the announcement.
Chaney said MORPC serves as a go-between for local governments in finding out about and seeking federal funding for projects.
"Just becoming a full member and being at the table on a regular basis will benefit the residents of the township in becoming aware of those projects," he said.
The Perry Township vote to seek MORPC membership came after Murdock gave a presentation to the county trustees association, of which Chaney is vice president.
"We actually have worked with MORPC on a number of different projects," Chaney said, including most recently an ongoing traffic study of West Dublin-Granville Road.
"MORPC was a natural partner for us in that conversation," he said. "For us, it made sense to have the neutral partner ... kind of spearhead things."
According to a release from Bernice Cage, MORPC's public information and diversity officer, the organization is a voluntary association of 43 local governments in central Ohio "serving the region through planning, direct service, public policy information and innovative programming and intergovernmental coordinating services in the areas of transportation, land use, energy conservation, the environment and housing."