Regional Services’ goal is to effectively provide and coordinate services for the communities in the South Plains region. Follow the links below to learn about specific programs they use to achieve this goal and the staff’s contact information.
Economic, demographic, and other census information for the SPAG region
As a local census affiliate of the Texas State Data Center, SPAG maintains housing, demographic, and economic census information for the 15 counties in the South Plains Region. SPAG maintains 2010 census tract maps for all counties in the SPAG region, and also maintains data and information from Census 2020 as it becomes available.
Census data is available upon request to local governments, agencies, nonprofit and businesses for use in grant applications, marketing studies, planning, etc.
You can link through the web to the United States Census Bureau to get U.S. and regional data. Other useful sites are listed below.
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Bureau of Justice Statistics
Bureau of Transportation Statistics
Texas State Data Center
Programs designed to improve communities and quality of life
The Texas Community Development Block Grant Program
The Regional Services Department assists the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) with the implementation of the Texas Community Development Block Grant Program (TXCDBG) in the SPAG region. Under this program, SPAG provides local community development planning as well as grant writing and administration. One of the most important areas of the program is the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG).
The objective of the TXCDBG program is the development of viable communities by providing public infrastructure, suitable living environments, and expanding economic opportunities, principally for persons of low and moderate income. Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) are available to eligible units of local government.
All incorporated cities and counties in the SPAG region are eligible for these funds, with the exception of the City of Lubbock, an entitlement city that receives a direct allocation of CDBG funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In the SPAG region, the Community Development Block Grant program focuses on providing basic infrastructure to rural communities. Projects given top funding priority include water, sewer system improvements and street improvements.
Annually, each of the 24 planning regions in the state receive a formula-based allocation of funds for which applicants can compete.
Grant Writing and Grant Administration
SPAG takes an active role in providing assistance to member cities and counties seeking funding for various community development projects. SPAG staff is available to meet with city councils, commissioners courts, and other interested citizens concerning the application process for the Texas Community Development Block Grant Program, the Texas Capital Fund, Small Town Environmental Program, Texas Parks and Wildlife, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Development Administration , and other grant programs. The Regional Services Department writes and administers these grant projects.
Planning/Capacity Building Fund
Another important program under the TXCDBG is the Planning and Capacity Building Fund. This fund provides grant money for local planning activities. It has the same eligibility requirements as the CDBG fund. The planning process undertaken with these funds should result in an improved local capacity to identify long and short-term needs and to develop strategies to address identified community needs.
SPAG coordinates funding from the Criminal Justice Division of the Office of the Governor, to assist local governments in their efforts to address criminal justice issues in the South Plains region. The funding is a combination of federal and state monies that are pass-through grants for cities, local enforcement agencies, and counties. Most of the state funds come from a fee levied during court proceedings. All funding is allocated across the state to the planning regions by a formula based on population and local crime statistics.
SPAG’s Regional Services Department provides staff support to the Regional Criminal Justice Advisory Committee (CJAC). CJAC is involved in the criminal justice planning process, and is composed of 17 members from throughout the region. They represent a cross-section of varied interests including local governments, private citizens, law enforcement, courts, juvenile justice, mental health, substance abuse, parents, concerned citizens, and education.
Criminal Justice – Strategic Planning
In order to be eligible to apply for a grant — the problem you propose to impact must be identified in the strategic plan of the area that you plan to serve. The Strategic Plan for the South Plains Association of Governments Region highlights the following focus areas:
The planning process is to form focus groups in each of the above-referenced Criminal Justice areas. These focus groups will review the current plan for that focus area; new or updated data for that focus area and create any updates. These focus groups will be comprised of both ‘experts’ and ‘unbiased opinions’ in each focus area.
Funding programs for emergency management and operations in the SPAG region
The Homeland Security/Domestic Preparedness Section was created in 2003 to assist local governments with preparedness issues. SPAG planners assist local governments to prepare and update their emergency operations plans, local ordinances, and orders that set the legal authority of the local governments. This section is instrumental in coordinating mutual aid agreements throughout the region and assists in preparing grant applications. Read below to learn more about their services.
Emergency Operations Planning
Technical support in the research and writing of plans for the local jurisdictions that encompasses all types of emergencies or disasters.
The Emergency Responders Advisory Committee
The Emergency Responders Advisory Committee was created to act as an advisor for the region in the arena of domestic preparedness. The Task Force is composed of 21 members from the emergency responder community, such as sheriffs, police and fire chiefs, local government officials, and technical experts from SPAG.
The Emergency Responders Advisory Committee is developing a long-range strategy for improving the response capabilities for the South Plains Region. This strategy includes the following components:
The procurement of equipment, based throughout the region, to improve response to major emergencies or disasters, through the use of federal and state grants; and the creation of regional response teams and the support of existing teams interoperable communications capabilities.
SPAG’s Solid Waste and Environment team’s goal is to maintain a regional solid waste management program in conformance with state and regional solid waste management priorities.
Regional Solid Waste Management Plan 2022 to 2042 (Draft Pending TCEQ Approval)
In accordance with Texas Health and Safety Code 363, Subchapter D and Texas Administrative Code Chapter 330, Subchapter O, this report serves as the South Plains Association of Governments’ (SPAG) Draft Regional Solid Waste Management Plan.
The original plan, adopted by the SPAG Board of Directors in August 1992, has been updated and amended periodically since its inception. This plan is an update to the previously approved plan from July 2003. This draft plan update details the region’s current and planned municipal solid waste (MSW) management procedures, objectives and goals, recommendations, and strategies for achieving goals through the planning period of years 2022 to 2042.
Closed Landfill Inventory
The Closed Landfill Inventory is a resource for the SPAG Region which documents the location of closed landfill sites.
SPAG has grant money available each year for local municipal and county governments, special districts, and school districts for recycling and waste reduction projects. The grants are to be used to support projects designed to reduce the waste stream into local landfills and must provide for cooperation between public and private entities (wherever possible). Grant money may not be used to create a competitive advantage over private industry.
For general information on this and other Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) programs, contact the Regional Services Department or check the TCEQ web page at http://www.tceq.state.tx.us.
SPAG Resource Library
SPAG maintains a resource library containing materials related to solid waste disposal and recycling. The library contains educational materials for schools, brochures, videotapes, TCEQ regulations, and other solid waste items. The library is available for use from 8:30am to 4:30pm Monday through Friday.
Solid Waste Reduction/Recycling
Regional Services provides staff support to the Solid Waste Advisory Committee (SWAC). The SWAC is involved in the Solid Waste Grants process and is composed of 18 members from throughout the region who represent a cross-section of interest in solid waste management issues. The Committee reviews and ranks the Solid Waste Grant Proposals within the region and makes funding recommendations to the SPAG Board of Directors for each funding year.
South Plains Rural Planning Organization
SPAG’s Regional Services Department provides staff support to the South Plains Rural Planning Organization (SPRPO). SPRPO enhances rural involvement of transportation project decision making within the Lubbock Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) District as well as provides information regarding current and future projects. This organization assists county officials with information regarding the Lubbock TxDOT district, as well as acts as a liaison between the Lubbock TxDOT District county judges and the Lubbock TxDOT District engineer. The SPRPO has coordinated quarterly meetings for information sharing between the Lubbock TxDOT district and all county judges within the Lubbock TxDOT district, while allowing for further development of the South Plains Rural Planning Organization.
South Plains Regional Coordination Transportation Advisory Committee
SPAG coordinates with the Texas Department of Transportation to assist regional entities in their efforts to address transportation issues through planning in the South Plains Region. The South Plains Regional Coordination Transportation Advisory Committee (SPRCTAC) convenes monthly to obtain feedback regarding planning efforts for transportation needs. SPRCTAC is composed of 20 members that represent diverse transportation interests including stakeholders, governmental entities, and providers.
Upper Brazos Regional Flood Planning Group
In 2019, the Texas Legislature and Governor Abbott expanded the authority of the Texas Water Development Board to administer a new State and Regional Flood Planning process. The 15 regions designated in Texas are based on river basins and Region 7, also known as the Upper Brazos Flood Planning Region. At the first meeting of the Region 7 Upper Brazos Flood Planning Group on October 29, 2020, the group designated SPAG to be the political subdivision to serve as the planning group sponsor to coordinate and provide support on a variety of administrative activities of Region 7. Under the direction of the Region 7 Upper Brazos Regional Flood Planning Group, a consultant shall prepare a regional flood plan for Region 7 to submit to TWDB.
Region 7 – Upper Brazos includes the following counties in their entirety: Bailey, Fisher, Haskell, Jones, Kent, Lamb, Lubbock, Shackelford, Stonewall and Throckmorton
Region 7 – Upper Brazos also includes portions of the following counties: Archer, Baylor, Borden, Callahan, Castro, Cochran, Crosby, Dawson, Dickens, Eastland, Floyd, Garza, Hale, Hockley, King, Knox, Lynn, Mitchell, Nolan, Parmer, Scurry, Stephens, Swisher, Taylor, Terry and Young.
Safe Room Rebate Program
Thank you for your interest in the SPAG Regional Safe Room Rebate Program. This program is funded through FEMA and the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) and administered locally by our staff at the South Plains Association of Governments (SPAG). We believe this is a great opportunity to help better prepare the residents of the South Plains to take shelter from potential storms. However, there are standards and guidelines to apply to participate in this rebate program.
The application packet contains application instructions, eligibility requirements, selection process methodology, and other programmatic information regarding the SPAG Regional Safe Room Rebate Program. Please read the information thoroughly. Verified program eligibility entitles a homeowner, who constructs a certified and approved residential safe room, to a rebate of 50% reimbursement of eligible costs (not to exceed $3,000).
The SPAG Regional Safe Room Rebate Program is Closed at this time. Check back for future updates.
Region O Regional Water Planning Group
The Llano Estacado Regional Water Planning Area (Region O) includes 21 counties in the Southern High Plains of Texas. Major cities in the region include Brownfield, Hereford, Lamesa, Levelland, Lubbock, and Plainview.
Counties in the region include: Bailey, Briscoe, Castro, Cochran, Crosby, Dawson, Deaf Smith, Dickens, Floyd, Gaines, Garza, Hale, Hockley, Lamb, Lubbock, Lynn, Motley, Parmer, Swisher, Terry, and Yoakum.
The Llano Estacado Regional Water Planning Group (LERWPG) is tasked with developing and adopting a regional water plan in accordance with Senate Bill 1 and Senate Bill 2 as passed by the Texas Legislature.
The group’s mission statement is to “develop, promote, and implement water conservation, augmentation, and management strategies to provide adequate water supplies for the Llano Estacado Regional Water Planning Area and to stabilize or improve the economic and social viability and longevity of the region through these activities.”
The LERPWG is composed of planning group members representing 11 specific water user groups. It is guided by the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) in Austin, led by an Executive Committee, governed by LERWPG By-Laws, and supported by the South Plains Association of Governments (SPAG), a local political subdivision.
Region O Regional Water Planning Group
Click above to visit the Llano Estacado Regional Water Planning Group
About Section 3
Under the Section 3 program recipients of certain HUD financial assistance, to the greatest extent possible, must provide training, employment, contracting and other economic opportunities to low- and very low-income persons. This is especially true for recipients of government assistance for housing, and to businesses that provide economic opportunities to low- and very low-income persons.
Individuals may qualify as a worker, targeted worker or Section 3 business concern by meeting one or more of the following criteria:
1. recipient of government assistance for housing
2. income falls below HUD’s income limits
Businesses may qualify as Section 3 business by meeting one or more of the following criteria:
1. ownership/control by a low-or very low-income person(s)
2. owned and controlled by public housing residents
3. business that has at least 75% of labor hours using Section 3 workers
For more information about Section 3, visit https://www.hud.gov/section3 or https://www.hud.gov/sites/dfiles/FPM/documents/Section-3-FAQs.pdf.
To register your business as a Section 3 business or to be matched to Section 3 jobs and training opportunities, or contracting opportunities, visit https://hudapps.hud.gov/OpportunityPortal/.
Affordable Connectivity Program
The Affordable Connectivity Program was started by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to break the digital divide in the United States. This program was created to provide easier access to internet services by helping reduce the monthly internet bill for qualified, low-income households. SPAG has recently been awarded the National Competitive Outreach Program grant from the FCC and will be conducting outreach events to spread awareness for the ACP benefit.
With this benefit…
- Save up to $30 a month on your monthly internet bill with a participating provider.
- Save up to $75 a month on your monthly internet bill if you live on Tribal Lands with a participating provider.
- One $100 coupon for a device like a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet from a participating provider.
You qualify for this program if you or your dependent(s) are already enrolled in the following programs OR your income is at 200% or below the federal poverty line:
- Federal Housing Assistance, including:
- Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program (Section 8 Vouchers)
- Project-Based Rental Assistant (PBRA)/Section 202/ Section 811
- Public Housing
- Affordable Housing Programs for American Indians, Alaska Natives or Native Hawaiians
- Supplemental Security Income
- WIC or SNAP
- Veterans Pension or Survivors Benefit
- Federal Pell Grant
- Tribal Land Specific Programs
- Free & Reduced School Lunch or School Breakfast programs
To apply, visit:
To see what providers accept ACP benefit in your area, visit:
For more information about the program, visit:
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Federal Communications Commission.