Lewiston Auburn could vote on consolidating cities

5:45 PM, Jun 7, 2013   |    comments
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LEWISTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Androscoggin Chamber of Commerce President Chip Morrison has started the petition process for Lewiston Auburn to consolidate into one city.

"It makes financial sense, it makes business sense, it makes community sense," said Morrison.

He needs 1,000 signatures from Lewiston and 1,000 from Auburn to get a quesiton on the November ballot asking if the cities should form a charter commission.

If approved, the charter commision would study the consolidation, and send a proposal back to the voters.

In 2009, a study found consolidating municipal services would save the cities $2.7 million each year.

Auburn Mayor Jonathan LaBonte said he likes the savings, but isn't sure the timing is right.

"My fear is that we're going to get into a protracted debate about how that plays out amongst the unions, amongst school departments, that could detract from this growth window that we're entering," said LaBonte.

Morrison is hopeful he will have the volunteers to begin circulating the petitions next week.


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