Frequently Asked Questions

The Cumberland Plateau Planning District Commission, or PDC, is one of Virginia’s 21 planning district commissions, and was created in 1968 to promote regional cooperation, help coordinate the activities and policies of member local governments, and provide planning assistance to local governments in all their activities apon their request.

The boundaries of the Cumberland Plateau PDC extend to cover Buchanan, Dickenson, Russell and Tazewell Counties and the towns within those counties, including Grundy, Clinchco, Clintwood, Haysi, Cleveland, Honaker, Lebanon, Bluefield (Virginia), Cedar Bluff, Pocahontas, Richlands and Tazewell.

The PDC staff works for all of the localities within the planning district boundaries under the direction of a 32-member Board of Directors. This board is made up of eight members from each of the four counties.

The Cumberland Plateau PDC provides a wide range of services to its member governments. It’s difficult to outline one major area of planning and development the Cumberland Plateau is responsible for because its activities in the last 46 years have ranged from helping a community re-seed a ball field to utilizing high technology computer programs. Today, however, the majority of the commission’s work is focused in the areas of grantsmanship, management services, economic development, public infrastructure, geographic information services and regional waste management. Grantsmanship – Since 1968 the PDC has prepared applications that have resulted in almost $500 million in grant funds for the district. The majority of these grants have been for water and sewer development and economic development projects. Management Services – The PDC’s Town Management Assistance Program offers staff assistance to twelve small towns in the district. District staff also provides CDBG, EDA, ARC, DEQ, DMME, VDH and RD grant management services to all its local governments. Economic Development – The Cumberland Plateau PDC works with localities to prepare for and recruit industry. It also works to promote other economic efforts, such as The Crooked Road, Round the Mountain, and Appalachian Spring to create economic opportunities in the small towns and rural communities in Southwest Virginia. Geographic Information Services – The GIS Program allows the Cumberland Plateau PDC to combine a wide range of services, from infrastructure planning to economic development in one, high-technology computer process. The commission also has extensive mapping capabilities through this program. 

The Cumberland Plateau PDC receives funding from a variety of federal, state and local sources. Federal funding comes from agencies such as the Economic Development Administration (EDA), the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) through the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). The Commonwealth of Virginia provides funding through the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). Each member county also provides an annual contribution to the Cumberland Plateau PDC. The CPPDC receives funds for technical assistance and management services provided to the localities through a variety of programs, as well as grant administration.

The Cumberland Plateau PDC staff is always interested in ideas for new projects in the district and has nearly 100 years of combined staff experience in grant writing. However, all requests for assistance must be submitted through the appropriate county board of supervisors, town council or local agency. The PDC also responds to requests from state and federal agencies for special projects with local approval.

The planning district commission is a political subdivision that operates as an arm of local government. The company is a 501(c)(3) corporation that expands the capabilities of the commission.

The Cumberland Plateau PDC is a State Data Center affiliate, meaning it receives data from other agencies such as the U.S. Census Bureau, the Virginia Employment Commission and the Virginia Bureau of Vital Statistics, just to name a few. Some of these statistics are available to the public in hard copy, while most are now available online.