Garrard County Fiscal Court voted 6-0 Monday to create a commission to study whether to merge county government and the city of Lancaster.
In addition to the five magistrates, County Judge-Executive John Wilson supported the ordinance.
Lancaster Mayor Brenda Powers spoke in favor of the ordinance at Monday's fiscal court meeting, Wilson said. The ordinance must pass a second vote by fiscal court on Aug. 22. The Lancaster City Council must also adopt the ordinance.
If the ordinance passes, a commission of between 20 and 40 people would be appointed to study merging government and develop a specific plan for the consolidation of services and functions. Voters would then decide to approve or reject a merger in a referendum.
Wilson said Garrard County has already saved thousands of dollars with the merger of 911 services and solid-waste departments with neighboring Lincoln County.
Citizens in Anderson County have also been pushing for merger with Lawrenceburg. A joint meeting to discuss the idea there is scheduled for 7 p.m. Aug. 16 at the Stratton Building in the Anderson County Park.
A merger initiative is also under way in Hardin County, where a pro-merger group plans to ask local governments in September to create a commission that would develop a specific plan for unified government.