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This report is. designed to foster discussion among citizens, leaders and policymakers regarding an important public issue of concern to lowans. lowa State University seeks to provide accurate research-based information on relevant issues and neither endorses nor opposes proposals regarding the issues•' analyzed. The research contained herein was conducted vith partial support from the lova. Agriculture and Homo Economics Experiment Station (lABEES), lova State University Extension (ISUE) and funding from local officials in 40 leva counties collected by Rural Counties Against Regionalization (RCAR). RCAR funding vas solely used for funding research assistance vith the understanding that the goal of the project vaS' to develop objective information sources for making reasonable judgements regarding consolidation issues. The project director explicitly avoided receiving financial gain from the project so as to prevent conflicts of interest, bias in research, and/or the appearance thereof