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City nixes Omaha-Douglas County board merger plan

City nixes Omaha-Douglas County board merger plan

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OMAHA — The Omaha City Council said a unanimous no to the idea of merging it and the Douglas County Board.

The County Board approved the idea in a majority vote last week.

The council said Tuesday that such a merger would be illegal and that there was no evidence that doing so would save taxpayer money.

But the council passed a resolution calling for such mergers if they are lawful, save money and provide operational efficiencies.

Council President Dan Welch said he and a city delegation would meet with Mayor Mike Fahey and County Board members to talk about any future for city-county mergers.

The combined board would have been composed of the seven City Council members and the seven County Board members.

Backers of the idea said a combined board could speed mergers of county and city departments.

County Board Chairman Kyle Hutchings said the council members were wrong about the board merger being illegal. The idea was based on a state law that allows governments to enter joint operations agreements, he said.

Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com

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