Can St. Louis learn from Louisville KY consolidation?

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LOUISVILLE, KY (KTVI) - You Paid For It, Investigator Elliott Davis traveled to Louisville Kentucky as part of his investigation into whether taxpayers in our area are paying too much to run too many governments here.

Louisville merged with Jefferson County Kentucky back in 2003.

The St. Louis area has 90 municipal governments plus St. Louis City and St. Louis County.  According to a study by the organization Better Together, running all those governments cost taxpayers here $281 million dollars.

Since consolidation, Louisville-Jefferson County has cut the cost of administration to a third of that, about $97 million dollars.

The Mayor of Louisville Metro told me the city has seen and economic rebirth since consolidation and points to billions of new dollars in investments for the area; because there’s less red tape for businesses.

Louisville-Jefferson County Kentucky merger brought together and streamlined the police and fire departments as well as the courts and other government functions.

And the two governments were also merged into one. That’s in sharp contrast to the 92 different governments in the St. Louis area.

Louisville Metro's Mayor also added that consolidation eliminated the competition between city and county so businesses could invest anywhere in the area without governmental interference.

But the Mayor admitted merging wasn’t easy. He says it took four tries before voters Okayed it.

There are still 82 municipalities in Louisville Jefferson County, but the central government handles most of the major functions for them too.

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