UGA weighs in on city-county consolidation - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

UGA weighs in on city-county consolidation

Albany--  Thursday, the charter commission heard from UGA's Carl Vinson Institute, a firm with extensive charter writing experience. The members were told that it could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for Albany and Dougherty County to consolidate.

They said transition costs are a disadvantage of consolidating governments and services. Transition costs such as buying new uniforms for a unified police department and replacing emblems on city and county vehicles can add up at first.

But those cost can be spread out. "For example in Athens-Clarke County, their big transition cost was delaing with equalizing the salaries," said Harry Hayes The Carl Vinson Institute. "They made a decision to put in the charter those salaries would be equalized over a five year period."

But a consolidation study suggested that after those initial cost, we could save up to two million dollars a year if the city and county consolidated. It could cost anywhere between $57,000 to $70,000 to hire The Carl Vinson Institute to write the charter and estimate the transition cost of consolidation.

posted by dave.miller@walb.com