Charleston Mayor Open to Merging County-City Govt.

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The mayor of West Virginia's largest city says he open to the idea of consolidating services with the state's largest county.

Charleston Mayor Danny Jones says the city and Kanawha County officials should consider a merger before the federal 2010 census to ensure federal funds based on population are not lost.

Several cities and counties have discussed merging operations as a way to combat dwindling populations and save costs, but none have taken the plunge.

The president of the Kanawha County Commission is a supporter of the concept and recently sponsored a trip to Louisville, Ky., so local officials can see how effective a consolidated government can operate.

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