The West Alabama Regional Commission is one of the 12 regional councils in the State of Alabama as provided for by Act No. 584 and Act No. 585 of the Alabama Legislature, 1963. The councils serve local governments and citizens by coordinating region wide projects and services, promoting cooperation among the local governments, and carrying out state and federal programs on a regional basis. The West Alabama area is designated Planning District 2, or Region 2.
The WARC encompasses Bibb, Fayette, Greene, Hale, Lamar, Pickens and Tuscaloosa counties. The forerunner to the West Alabama Regional Commission was established in February 1966 as the Tuscaloosa Area Council of Local Governments. The member governments were Tuscaloosa County, the City of Tuscaloosa and the City of Northport. William W. Elliott, director of the City of Tuscaloosa planning department, was appointed acting director. Lewis E. McCray was the first full-time paid director and held the position from October 1, 1967 until his retirement on December 31, 1995. During that time the name was changed to West Alabama Planning and Development Council to identify the growing district. Robert B. Lake, former mayor of Moundville, was appointed executive director effective February 12, 1996. The first chairman was David M. Cochrane,Tuscaloosa County probate judge. On April 25, 2002 the Board of Directors changed the agency name to West Alabama Regional Commission.