A long-considered merger between the cities of Mankato and North Mankato would save $2.2 million a year, according to a study released yesterday. Mankato officials have been pushing the merger, while North Mankatoites seem to be cool to the idea.
The study shows significant savings for property tax payers, says the Mankato Free Press:
The owner of an average-priced Mankato home would save $73.51 per year in city taxes and a North Mankatoan would save $227.31, according to the study. It amounts to a savings of about 9 percent in property-tax supported services.
It was mostly a fiscal comparison, the paper said.
The analysis, conducted by Mankato officials, steers clear of thorny topics like the future of individual employees and a name for a merged city. But the issues that remain — especially comparisons of efficiency — are enough to make the merger a divisive and potent question.
The North Mankato City Administrator told the paper he hadn’t yet read the report and would have no comment even if he had. But Mankato City Manager Pat Hentges said it’s apparent that savings could come from reducing redundant positions in upper- and middle-management positions.
Mankato City Councilman Vance Stuehrenberg, who’s been a police officer in both Mankato and North Mankato, likes the idea of combining public safety for the two cities, but recognizes the political problems in a merger.
“…knowing the independence of the city of North Mankato very well,” Stuehhrenberg was skeptical that a merger would work, the paper said.