The Southeast Arkansas Regional Planning Commission (SARPC) is a local council of governments that provides planning and technical services to Jefferson County and the local governments within the County. SARPC was established in 1964 in accordance with the Arkansas State Statute on Metropolitan or Regional Planning. Until 1967, Pine Bluff and Jefferson County were the participating local entities in SARPC, and in 1967, the City of White Hall also became a member government. In the early 1970's, the other cities of the County joined the Commission. Three representatives from each member government make up the governing body of the Commission.
The reasons for establishing SARPC were twofold. A primary reason was that many Federal programs, the transportation planning program, HUD 701 planning programs, and EPA 208 Water Quality Planning Program for example, required that a metropolitan planning organization be established to perform planning functions to implement these programs. The second reason for creating the Commission was the realization of the necessity to provide for comprehensive, cooperative planning services to meet the needs of Jefferson County as a whole, which included its cities. The establishment of SARPC has provided a mechanism whereby the cities and county can obtain technical planning services and assistance on a cooperatively arranged basis. This process has been beneficial to all our local governments.