Hardin County (KY) United Unified Government Project
The overarching theme from the Hardin County, KY Visioning Project conducted by L.B. Schmidt & Associates, LLC was one of community unification, along with the elimination of duplicative services where they existed. One of the primary strategic goals developed to address this was a unified (metro) government feasibility study.
Building on the visioning project and on behalf of Hardin County United, Luke Schmidt conducted a detailed analysis of the existing government structure in the county and six incorporated cities, interviewed panels of impacted groups (e.g., law enforcement, fire protection, etc.), conducted site visits to communities which had previously unified their local governments, facilitated presentations by former metro mayors of Lexington and Louisville, and provided analysis of existing Kentucky statutes permitting unified government.
The study indicated that by unifying, the community would become Kentucky’s third largest city, 94 existing jurisdictions/departments/boards/commissions could be streamlined into eight key departments thereby creating a more efficient form of government. In addition, Luke Schmidt and Hardin County United led efforts with Hardin County’s legislative delegation to pass House Bill 189, which based on the feasibility study’s findings further strengthened Kentucky’s unified government statutes.