The concept of Area Development Districts (ADDs) originated in Kentucky in the early 1960s with the establishment of Area Development Councils. These Councils were organized in all counties and ultimately became the model for Area Development authorization in landmark federal acts such as the Appalachian Regional Development Act led by Kentuckian John Whisman and the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965. The fifteen Area Development Districts were formed during the period that followed, 1966 to 1972.
The mission of the ADDs is basic: To bring local civic and governmental leaders together to accomplish major objectives and take advantage of opportunities which cannot be achieved or realized by those governments acting alone.
Further, the ADDs are designed to be the focal point of a necessary Federal-State-Local partnership for improvement of the quality of life in the Commonwealth. This effort includes the elimination of, or certainly lessening of, parochialism; establishment of a forum to discuss and deal with common problems among counties; provision of a professional staff for units of government who individually cannot afford a staff; and to provide a vehicle for the delivery of services in a consistent manner where no other efficient system exists.
Each ADD is governed by a Board of Directors comprised of elected officials from the counties and communities within the District, as well as non-elected citizen members representing a cross-section of the region's social and economic institutions.
The Area Development Districts serve as forums, clearinghouses, technical centers, and as conveners for the region.
The Cumberland Valley Area Development District serves the counties of Bell, Clay, Harlan, Jackson, Knox, Laurel, Rockcastle, and Whitley.
Kentucky Council of Area Development Districts