On April 9, 1968, the two Councils met together and agreed to a joint steering committee. The Barren River Development District was incorporated with J. Ewing Stuart, a Russellville businessman elected chairman and Fountain Run Mayor Robert Eaton named vice chairman. The District applied for a planning grant from the Economic Development Administration (EDA). The grant was awarded June 29.
Guidance in organizing the original councils came from the Extension Service, notably Earl Kilbourne of Glasgow, and cooperative utilities led by J.B. Galloway, Farmers Rural Electric in the Upper Barren and Henry Carlisle, Bowling Green Municipal in the Lower Barren. Judge Basil Griffin provided support through free office space in the Warren County Courthouse. State leadership came from Governor Louis B. Nunn, who established the Kentucky Program Development Office under the directorship of Frank Groschelle. He recommended changing the names of the Districts to Area Development Districts -ADDs.
In September of 1968, T. Jack Eversole, a broadcast news director, Warren County Magistrate, and former Chairman of the local planning commission was named executive director. John Ferren was the first planner and Rebecca Gooding provided clerical support. The Overall Economic Development Plan was submitted to EDA in October.
Approval of the OEDP in February established eligibility for grant funds to develop water and sewer service to the site of an industrial plant, now the Corvette assembly plant at Bowling Green. The EDA investment of $2 million has been repaid many times through taxes on the numerous industrial plants, motels, restaurants, and other businesses which have located in the area.
In the first two years of activity, the BRADD staff assisted local leaders in acquiring more than $10 million in grants for economic projects in every county.