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Mon June 22, 2009
Hickman and Fulton Counties Discuss Merger
By Casey Northcutt
Clinton, KY – A local newspaper has resurrected debate about whether Hickman and Fulton Counties should consolidate their governments. Fulton Judge-Executive David Gallagher says residents have talked about merging for many years, but a recent Hickman Courier editorial got government officials discussing the subject. District Judge Hunter Whitesell wrote the article advocating the joining of the Fulton and Hickman for economic reasons. Although, Gallagher feels that the two counties can only achieve limited consolidation at this point.
"You run into issues like, everyone wants their own identity, you want local autonomy and no one really wants to give those up. So, if we look at different services we can provide where you can still maintain your autonomy and you can still retain your identity, I think that's the first step, and that may be as far as we ever go. I don't know."
Gallagher says Fulton and Hickman have already consolidated their ambulance and economic development services and are looking at merging dispatch and animal control, as well. He says a full-scale governmental consolidation will have to begin in Frankfort.