The communities of Carlton and Thomson may soon merge as one

By KBJR News 1

October 17, 2013 Updated Oct 17, 2013 at 11:17 AM CDT

Carlton, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Two Northland communities are in the final stages of a possible merger.

"The City of Carlton and the City of Thomson have been working on a merger for a couple of years already," said Kitty Bureau, Mayor of Carlton.

Years of work that are finally paying off.

Tuesday night a final meeting was held in Carlton to provide residents of both communities with information about the possible merger, and allowed them to vocalize any concerns.

"Would the names change? Is it going to be 'New Carlton Thomson?'"

The new city would most likely be called Carlton while Thomson would be a community within the city.

"We have different sections already. Carlton has a South Terrace section and we have a Woodlands section and Midtown, so Thomson will be their section of the city," said Bureau.

"Now it's up to the citizens of each towns to decide if they're going to merge or not," said Andy Hubley, regional planning director of the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission.

Mayors from Thomson and Carlton say that post office addresses would stay the same.

The regional planning director of the ARDC says a merger would reduce the overall cost of utility and public services and would eliminate redundancy.

"There's redundancy in maintenance. There's redundancy in administrative services. Thomson has a clerk, Carlton has a clerk. When it's merged they'd only have one," said Hubley.

The Mayor of Carlton says she supports the merger, but understands the concerns raised about the importance of preserving the individual identity of each community.

"Thomson will always be Thomson, and that's a big part of how people feel over there, but Carlton will always be Carlton, too," she said.

Information packets are being mailed to community members to inform them about the referendum vote that will take place on November 5th through the mail.

The majority vote from both communities will determine whether they will merge as one, which would take two years to fully integrate, if passed.

Elsa Robins