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CHEYENNE - The Legislature's Joint Interim Committee on Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivision will discuss a plan to unify the town and county governments in Teton County.

The legislative panel is scheduled to meet Nov. 18 in Cheyenne.

Andy Schwartz, chairman of the Teton County Commission, said Thursday that unification makes sense because Jackson is the only municipality in the county and contains roughly half the county's population.

"We really have a close relationship with them," Schwartz said..

The county and city have joint departments for fire protection, parks and recreation and the bus and pathway systems.

Schwartz said it is always complicated to offer these services through joint powers agreements. Yet what happens in the town has an impact on residents of the county, and vice versa.

"We have two separate forms of government," he said. "We could do things more efficiently and more responsibly for the citizens."

Some residents in Teton County probably would not support unification because they think they receive better services with separate governments, Schwartz said.

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"It's not easy," Schwartz said. "Realistically, if we got the power to do it, I would guess it would take at least 10 years to put it in place."

"But that doesn't mean you don't start."

Rep. Pete Illoway, R-Cheyenne, co-chairman of the Joint Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee, said there are constitutional and tax issues to be explored.

"We have to see if it's possible, under the constitution, and if there is citizen support," Illoway said.

If it is possible, Illoway said he could envision other counties unifying with the municipalities within their borders.

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