How likely is a Norwich merger?

NORWICH – Would it be beneficial, or possible, for the Town of North Norwich, Town of Norwich and City of Norwich to consolidate their services or even merge into one municipality?

The state, guided by Governor Eliot Spitzer’s push to consolidate local governments, is offering to fund 90 percent of a study that would examine that very question.

The city passed a resolution last month to take part in the roughly $120,000 study, and agreed to pay the majority of a 10 percent local share to be divided among the three municipalities should they all participate.

The towns of Norwich and North Norwich will decide whether or not to take part in the merger study at their next board meetings Nov. 12 and Nov. 19.

Right now, support for the study appears spotty, and the idea of merging looks even less attractive to some officials in the two towns.

“As far as merging with the city, I’m not in favor of it at this time,” said Town of Norwich Councilman Charles W. Brooks. “I believe there are possibilities of looking into how we can better share fire service and water and sewer. But there are a lot of things that have to be considered when you talk about a merger. There’s a difference between city living and country living.”

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