The Belomar Regional Council was established by the West Virginia Legislature in 1969 as one of eleven regional councils created throughout West Virginia. Belomar’s primary purpose was to foster cooperation for the planning and development of community and economic development and transportation projects. Its service area originally included Ohio and Marshall Counties in West Virginia and Belmont County in Ohio. That service area was expanded in 1972 to include Wetzel County in West Virginia.
Over the years, Belomar’s functions have been more diversified. Those functions are now divided among three departments within the organization. The departments include Management Services, Transportation Planning and Aging Services.
Belomar’s Management Services Department provides those services probably the most frequently associated with regional councils. Community and economic development planning, grant writing and administration for infrastructure projects and housing development are this department’s responsibility. The Management Services Department fills the void for the many small communities in the four-county region lacking professional management in-house.
Designated as the Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Wheeling urbanized area by the Governors of West Virginia and Ohio, the Transportation Planning Department is responsible for maintaining a continuing, comprehensive and cooperative transportation planning process for Ohio, Marshall and Belmont Counties. This process results in the development of the officially recognized transportation plans and programs for the area. Belomar’s Geographic Information System is jointly developed through the efforts of the Transportation Planning and Management Services Departments.
West Virginia’s Bureau of Senior Services has designated Belomar’s Aging Services Department as the Area Agency on Aging for northern West Virginia. This department coordinates the provision of services to the elderly through a network of county senior service centers. This department covers a much larger geographic area than Belomar’s other departments, coordinating senior service activities over sixteen counties in the northwest quadrant of West Virginia.