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      ASU survey looks at consolidating the city and county

      The idea of consolidating the city of Albany and Dougherty County, isn't a new one. The concept was voted down in 1954 and 58, it was discussed again in the 70's, with the most recent push beginning in the 90's."It's been on and off, it's like, it's a very long process very lengthy process, we've started several years ago. It's now to a point where the next move would be for citizens have to cast a vote," Said Dr. Kwame B. Dankwa, Associate Professor at Albany State University.Before citizens get a say, the city and county commission must first agree to send it to vote. While waiting, the Alliance of social science at Albany State University (ASU), decided to conduct and exit poll survey to see where the people stand on this topic."There is pretty good support, over 66%, if we just look at voters in Dougherty County, 66%, ether support or strongly support consolidation," explains Dr. Timothy Sweet-Holp, Assistant Professor at ASU.The study broke results down by race, gender, and location.It found that 68.7% of blacks surveyed supported consolidation as compared to 46.2% of whites.When it comes to sex, 64.5% of males support consolidation compared to 58.9% of females.68.4% of citizens who live in the city support consolidation compared to 52.1% of those who live outside the city limits. Voters flipped the script when asked about consolidative specific departments such as the city and county police, over 60% of the people wanting them to remain separate.Experts say this probably has to do with safety concerns, but in general consolidation has to do with dollars and cents."The idea is economics, propelled by economics basically they think if these two governing bodies merge it will cut down cost," said Dr. Dankwa.Stay connected to as stories develop and the FOX 31 Newscast at 10 PM. Visit us on Facebook and Twitter to join in on the conversation and connect with FOX 31!