The Rochester-Olmsted Council of Governments (ROCOG) was established in November 1971 to provide comprehensive planning services to member local government units. It was organized to comply with the Federal Aid Highway Act, which requires that all urbanized areas with a population of more than 50,000 have an organization designated by the Governor of the state that is responsible for implementation and maintenance of a regional transportation planning program.
That program includes the preparation of a Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) and an annual Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), which identifies a list of transportation improvements supported by federal funding. ROCOG maintains a cooperative relationship with the City of Rochester, the Olmsted County Planning Department and Olmsted County, utilizing their staff as necessary to fulfill its transportation planning responsibilities according to their bylaws. To view a copy of the bylaws, please contact the Planning Department at 507-328-7100.
The Olmsted County Planning Department does limited transportation planning, primarily in the area of studies and other special reports done with or for the City of Rochester, Olmsted County, and the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MN/DOT).
ROCOG Policy Board
The ROCOG Policy Board is comprised of sixteen individuals representing the local units of government within Olmsted County and two citizen members as follows:
|City of Rochester||5 members|
|Olmsted County||3 members|
|Small Cities||2 members|
|School Districts||1 member|
|Citizen Representatives||2 members|
Transportation Technical Advisory Committee (TTAC)
The Policy Board has a technical advisory committee which consists of eight members representing each of the major jurisdictions that has dedicated transportation staff. The Transportation Technical Advisory Committee (TTAC) reviews transportation issues that have been identified in the ROCOG planning area and makes recommendations to the Policy Board. The make up of the technical committee is:
|Olmsted County Planning Department||4 members|
|City of Rochester Public Works Department||2 members|
|City of Rochester Transit System||1 member|
|Olmsted County Public Works Department||2 members|
|Minnesota Department of Transportation||2 members|
Through agreement with the Governor of Minnesota, the planning area for ROCOG includes all of Olmsted County along with the incorporated areas of Pine Island and Chatfield, as shown in the figure below.
ROCOG receives annual funding from the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration to assist in the planning and development of transportation projects throughout the Rochester area. Federal funds provide approximately 80% of the funding used for transportation planning activities, with approximately 13% provided by the State of Minnesota and 7% from local area governments.
ROCOG strives to provide different community interests opportunity to be involved in the planning and programming of transportation improvements. Among the stakeholders are local government jurisdictions and agencies, the State of Minnesota, the Federal government, private citizens and business interests with an interest in the development of an efficient and well-maintained transportation system. ROCOG has an official policy on public involvement.
Current ROCOG Members
- Bill Schimmel, Jr., Small City Representative
- Mark Benscoter, Citizen Representative
- Laurel Podulke-Smith, Olmsted County Commissioner
- Jeff Kappers, Rochester Public Schools
- John Johnson, Township Representative
- Dave Iseminger, Small City Representative
- Mark Thein, Olmsted County Commissioner
- Kim Norton, Mayor City of Rochester
- Lenny Laures, Township Representative
- Molly Dennis, Rochester City Council
- Brian Mueller, Olmsted County Commissioner
- Al Roder, Small City Representative
- Patrick Keane, Rochester City Council
- Sean Palmer, Rochester City Council
- Norm Wahl, Rochester City Council
- Randy Reimer, Citizen Representative