In 1969, the Lake Cumberland Area Development District, Inc. (LCADD) was established and an office for the agency opened in the basement of the old Doctor Lawrence Hotel building in Jamestown, Ky. A professional staff was hired and a Board of Directors, composed of locally-elected officials and citizens from Adair, Casey, Clinton, Cumberland, Green, McCreary, Pulaski, Russell, Taylor and Wayne counties, was put into place to govern the agency.

This new regional planning agency paved the way for an important long-term cooperative effort among local civic and governmental leaders within the 10-county area. The agency provided a forum for officials to discuss and deal with common problems affecting their counties, to set and accomplish major objectives and to take advantage of opportunities that could not be achieved alone. In short, the agency enabled local leaders to plan for both the growth of their communities and the region as a whole. By 1983, the growing agency needed more office space so it moved to its current location on Lakeway Drive in Russell Springs.

Today, the LCADD staff continues to work hard to achieve the goals and objectives set down each year by the agency’s Board of Directors. Staff and local officials work together in a multitude of areas from planning and development of infrastructure projects to the expansion of employment training and elderly services.

LCADD also remains committed to economic development. Many jobs have been created and millions of dollars invested in the 10-county area because locally-elected officials, agency staff and the private sector have worked together with the common goal of improving the opportunities within the region.

Throughout its 51-year history, the agency has experienced great success, thus proving that a united effort to pursue community and regional improvements does create growth and development in an entire region.

What is an Area Development District?

Area Development Districts (ADDs) in Kentucky have existed for more than 40 years. They grew out of the efforts of locally-elected officials and citizens in the Commonwealth to find collaborative means with which to deal with community problems.

The combination of federal programs and state-enabling legislation provided a national strategy and funding mechanism that allowed the concepts to become reality in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

ADDs now serve as regional planning agencies, forums, clearinghouses, technical centers and as conveners for the region while administering numerous federal, state and local programs. Unlike many other organizations structured along multi-jurisdictional lines, ADDs have both federal and state statutory authority.

ADDs share the following common characteristics with other regional councils throughout the United States:

  • extensive program and service delivery experience;
  • fiscal accountability;
  • technical and professional staff;
  • non-partisan approach;
  • flexibility;
  • broad-based partnership development;
  • establish capacity.

While they do share the traits listed above, the regional approach in Kentucky has also been tailored to the needs of the Commonwealth.

The ADD network is best characterized by the following distinctions, unique among regional organizations:

  • the 15 ADDs provide a system of complete coverage to all 120 counties;
  • ADDs provide systematic linkage between local leadership, the Govenor’s office, state and federal agencies, and private organizations and serve as extended staff for local government officials;
  • ADDs deal with all program areas within the Commonwealth.