Commonwealth Journal

Local News

April 6, 2013

Bullock open to unified government

Somerset —  

When it comes to a unified city-county government in Pulaski County, Barty Bullock takes the “wait-and-see” approach.
“I’m all for doing the study,” said Bullock, the current Pulaski County Judge-Executive, officially the head man of county government. “I think we owe it to the people of the county to look at it.
“As far as being for it (a unified government), it’s hard to say until the studies are done and we look at the options,” he added. “We’ll have to go from there.”
Bullock was reacting to the news on Thursday of last week that a group called Somerset-Pulaski County United was spearheading an effort to see if a merged government would be feasible for this area.
The first step is, very simply, a study that would be conducted to find out if a combined government would be effective locally. If so, governing bodies from the county (the fiscal court which Bullock oversees), City of Somerset, City of Burnside, City of Ferguson, and City of Sciences Hill, would create a commission of between 20 and 40 members to run the area as one single municipality, rather than having separate entities as is done now.
As explained at Thursday’s press conference by consultant L.B. Schmidt, president of Louisville-based L.B. Schmidt & Associates, SPCU would complete a study in about four months and present its findings to local governmental bodies.
The study will need funding and pitches will be made to local government agencies to help provide the resources to conduct the study. Bullock’s Pulaski County Fiscal Court will hear a presentation about the merged government at Tuesday’s meeting, according to the released agenda.
A new Somerset-Pulaski County unified government would create Kentucky’s third largest city with a population of 63,700. It would be the first unified government of its kind in Kentucky, different from metro governments in Louisville and Lexington.

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