Brookfield, Hubbard and Hubbard Township should pursue a police merger even if the state doesn't pay for a feasibility study.
Officials from each community are asking for $30,000 from the Local Government Innovation Fund, a state program that promotes more efficient delivery of government services. The Trumbull County highway engineer and several local communities received a large Innovation Fund grant to build and share a salt dome together rather than separately.
''The three communities can improve on the delivery of service and also the savings in doing so,'' said Hubbard Mayor John Darko. ''We all have gone through cuts with local government funds and also the other losses, we're just trying to maintain quality of service and maintain costs.''
Hubbard City Council and Brookfield and Hubbard Township trustees have passed resolutions supporting the idea. Trumbull County commissioners also endorse the effort.
About $5.5 million in grants and $32.5 million in loans are available in this round of funding. Applications are due Tuesday.
If there is any flaw in their request, it's that the communities are not thinking big enough. More police departments sharing services and a grant application for capital expenditures to fulfill an existing plan sound better than $30,000 just to determine feasibility.
But we understand that just getting three agencies this far is an achievement. Last year, Liberty tried to spearhead a fire department agreement with its neighbors, but they all balked. If Brookfield, Hubbard and Hubbard Township are successful, more police departments could come on board later and departments that provide other services could create their own agreements.
This is definitely a step in the right direction.