Bainbridge city leaders look into study of consolidating services

Bainbridge city leaders look into study of consolidating services

BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) - Bainbridge city leaders said they continue to look for the most cost efficient ways to give the community quality public safety services.

The UGA Carl Vinson Institute of Government conducted the study to see if a combining county and city services would improve fire and rescue in Decatur County.

"The county had come in and co-located equipment at our West Bainbridge fire station so we naturally progressed from that to okay what would a full scale consolidation look like," said Chris Hobby, City Manager.

In the study it states that the City of Bainbridge would actually see an increase in operational costs of about $126,000 a year because of new positions that would need to be filled.

"The Bainbridge Public Safety model is working, its working for our citizens. A change from that would result in higher costs," said Hobby.

Currently, firefighters in Bainbridge serve dual roles as public safety officers, trained both of fire and police.

According to Bainbridge City Manager Chris Hobby, the cost of de-consolidating Bainbridge Public Safety to merge with Decatur County wouldn't be ideal.

Hobby said he feels that a shared county-wide fire department would allow too much downtime. The study stated that currently Bainbridge firefighters only spend 1.7 percent of their time responding to fire calls.

"It goes back to the policy makers to make a decision but it doesn't seem to be point us in the direction of pursing a consolidation," said Hobby.

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