- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 10, 2016

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Talk of merging Maine’s second largest city with its neighboring community will remain talk for now.

The Sun Journal reported (https://bit.ly/2b3C0qD ) that Lewiston and Auburn voters won’t decide on the issue on November’s ballot.

Consolidation’s been discussed for years, though it’s gained steam recently after voters approved the creation of a commission to draft a new charter combining the cities and put it on the ballot.

The commission’s chair said it must conduct a legal review of the charter, and said a Rochester, New York-based nonprofit is still studying the merger.

But opponents, including Auburn Mayor Jonathan LaBonte, worry about losing identity and question whether the consolidation would really save money.

Jim Howaniec, chairman of an opposition committee, said he’s “disappointed” and wants to see the issue on November’s ballot.

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