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June 12, 2017

Commission picks new name if voters approve L/A merger

Photo / Tim Greenway
Photo / Tim Greenway
Peter Rinck of Rinck Advertising, left, and attorney Jim Howaniec stand on the James B. Longley Bridge between Lewiston and Auburn. Rinck is in favor of the proposed merger of the two cities, while Howaniec opposes the idea. Voters will get their say in November.

The Lewiston Auburn Joint Charter Commission has chosen a new name for Lewiston and Auburn if voters approve merging the cities later this year.

WMTW-TV reported that the chose "Lewiston-Auburn" over the runner-up possibility "Great Falls" as the new name during a meeting Thursday night.

The commission received nearly 1,000 suggestions for what the city should be named, according to WMTW.

The Bangor Daily News reported there were three basic groupings for the new name: Variations of Androscoggin, including Androscoggin City, Androscoggin Falls, Andros, and Andro; variations on the current names, such as Aubiston, Auston, Austin, Aulew, Lewburn, and Lauburn; and Great Falls, a distinguishing landmark shared by the two cities on their border defined by the Androscoggin River.

As reported in the May 29 issue of Mainebiz, proponents of a merger say combining the cities would save a minimum of $2.3 million annually by eliminating redundancies and cutting taxes for all, while opponents worry each city would lose its identity and the savings would be less than projected.

Now that a name has been selected, the next step in the process will be be public hearings in both cities soliciting comments about the consolidation plan.

When those meetings are completed the referendum will be drafted for the Nov. 7 ballot.

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