The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission has approved adding Jefferson Township as its newest member.

MORPC is a voluntary association of more than 60 local governments in central Ohio, serving the region through planning, direct service, public policy information, innovative programming and intergovernmental coordinating services in the areas of transportation, land use, energy conservation, the environment and housing.

"We are pleased to welcome Jefferson Township as an important part of the growing central Ohio metropolitan area," said William Murdock, MORPC executive director, in a June 12 press release. "Townships and our regional agencies are vital partners for MORPC, and are critical to our work on regional issues and services."

Jefferson Township will join MORPC as a full member, with one representative serving as a voting member at MORPC board meetings.

"Jefferson Township trustees believe it is important to be part of the dialogue and visioning for the future of the region," said Claire Yoder, Jefferson Township trustee.

"Jefferson Township is situated in the northeastern part of the region, where we are experiencing increased residential growth. We are faced with many challenges because of the rapid growth, and believe being proactive in addressing those challenges means having a comprehensive understanding of the region," she said.

Yoder said the township looks forward to being part of a process with MORPC, as it works to meet residents' growing needs, while preserving the township's identity and legacy for future generations.

She said she and township development director Michael Anderson would serve in the representative role.

The MORPC board meets 10 times annually to discuss regional issues, guide the direction of MORPC's work, network with local leaders to discuss problems, create solutions to shared regional challenges and provide input on funding decisions.

Additional benefits of serving on MORPC's board include learning about grants and funding opportunities, educational forums, training and seminars, receiving technical assistance and data, and policy development.