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November 22, 2014

Two northern Minnesota towns vote to approve merger

Residents of Carlton and Thomson voted Tuesday to merge the two northern Minnesota towns into one community, the Duluth News Tribune reports.

According to the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office, Carlton residents voted 171-10 in favor of the measure, while Thomson residents approved the merger by a vote of 61-13.

Combined, towns will be known as Carlton going forward.

The current city councils of both Carlton and Thomson will merge and an election will be held for a new mayor, says Carlton’s city clerk and treasurer.

Northland’s News Center says proponents favored the idea of a merger in an effort to decrease the overall costs of utility and public services.

Opponents of the merger in Thomson feared the town would lose its identity and be under-represented because it was the smaller of the two towns.

The residents of the towns are very familiar with one other.

The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead says when all 159 residents of Thomson were evacuated in June 2012 because of devastating flood waters, many of them were invited to stay in Carlton.

Carlton officials also provided resources and staffing to all of the flood victims, the Forum says.