Local News

Fayetteville, Cumberland County Eye Government Merger

Posted August 14, 2006

— Four North Carolina municipalities have unsuccessfully attempted merging operations with their surrounding counties in recent years, but that isn't deterring officials in Cumberland County and Fayetteville from taking a look at the idea.

Fayetteville and Cumberland County already share four departments -- animal control, stormwater, taxes and parks and recreation -- and county and city leaders have hired a consultant to study the benefits and drawbacks to a complete government merger.

"I think it would streamline government. I think it would make it more efficient, and I think it would make it more customer-friendly, one-stop shopping for everybody," County Commissioner Breeden Blackwell said.

But others have doubts.

Fayetteville City Councilman Curtis Worthy called the study a waste of time, noting that city and county agencies would be reluctant to give up power.

"You can't have chief of police running county police functions, [and I] don't know that anybody will relinquish their authority to give the county sheriff the authority over city operations," Worthy said.

Any merger wouldn't close the sheriff's office -- state law requires a sheriff in every county to serve legal papers and run the jail.

Officials said it's too early to say how a merger would impact taxes. They also said the idea wouldn't affect residents in the Cumberland County towns of Spring Lake, Hope Mills, Linden, Godwin, Falcon, Wade or Stedman.


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all