Mankato studying merger with North Mankato; will it save money?

The city of Mankato today will unveil a preliminary study of whether a merger with neighboring North Mankato could save 10 percent of both cities’ budgets.

The Mankato Free Press, though, says North Mankato officials seem skeptical of the value of being swallowed up:

In an interview several months ago, North Mankato City Administrator Wendell Sande questioned whether North Mankato taxpayers would see any savings by joining Mankato.

Indeed, past discussions on this topic have led to harsh words being bandied across the river about which city does a better job.

Mankato says its study is a “baseline” economic comparison that does not analyze issues such as service levels, names, employee impact, process and form of government.

The paper says:

The League of Minnesota Cities has a section in its guidebook for consolidation. It says a merger can begin in one of three ways: at the state level, by a petition of at least 5 percent of voters or by the governing body of each included city.

The new city takes the name of the city with the larger population unless both cities agree on a new name or the state consolidation commission selects another name.

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