Lanier County and Lakeland Consolidation

Lanier County and the city of Lakeland are hoping to combine governments in an effort to save money. The majority of county and city services are already combined. A total consolidation would include law enforcement and garbage collection.

Some residents oppose the idea because they feel a consolidation would eliminate more jobs, but other residents say they think it could create more employment opportunities.

"I think it would be great. I think it would be good for the people especially for the poor people and because jobs here are kind of limited, most people are on a fixed income and so we all have to pay taxes and property taxes so to me consolidation is a great idea," says Lakeland resident Nate Keith.

In order to move forward with plans, the city and county would have to sell the idea to residents who would then have to vote on the plan. Some residents like the idea of having one central police department.

"I think they all should come together and be as one because if an emergency should happen on the other side of town, you always have someone from this side of town to go over there." says Lakeland resident Nicole Sherman.

We tried to get a comment from the mayor of Lakeland and neither she nor any county officials would make themselves available for comment on the proposed consolidation. The county and city have been inspired by other Georgia cities that recently consolidated and have already seen benefits.

This is the second time Lanier County and the city of Lakeland will attempt to consolidate their governments. The first attempt was unsuccessful in 1985.