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Date of Issue: March 30, 2006

Mayors turn to commissions for consolidation study funding

Bradenton Beach Mayor John Chappie and Holmes Beach Mayor John Chappie will ask their respective city commissions to split the $25,000 cost of a study on the feasibility of consolidation that they proposed would be done by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia.

Whitmore said she and Chappie have discussed the study with Harry Hayes of the CVIG and he's outlined the parameters and costs for an initial study.

According to Whitmore, Hayes said the $25,000 plus expenses is for the team to come to both cities for "information gathering" for a study to determine if consolidation of the two cities is feasible.

Voters in both cities last fall approved a non-binding referendum that each city should explore the feasibility of consolidating Island governments. The Anna Maria City Commission declined to put the measure on its ballot.

Hayes and his governmental team have done a number of consolidation studies throughout the southeastern United States, including a study for Sea Island and St. Simons in Georgia, that found taxpayers in the two cities would save a minimum of $500,000 in administrative expenses annually through consolidation.