COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Some leaders in the South Carolina Midlands are floating the idea of merging the governments of the state’s biggest city and its second-largest county.
The State newspaper reports advocates say it would result in more efficient government and lower utility bills and taxes if Columbia and Richland County were to merge.
Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin is proposing asking county council in September to undertake a study about a possible merger. Advantages might include a joint law enforcement agency and single planning staff as well as other ways to make government more efficient.
Ultimately the voters would decide.
There has been talk of merging the two governments at times for almost 50 years. The newspaper reports turf fights generally got in the way in the past.