1) How was the new name, Lewiston-Auburn, decided?
The Maine law on municipal consolidations stipulates that the Joint Charter Commission is responsible for choosing the name of the new city. During a 6-week period in the Spring of 2017, the Lewiston Auburn Joint Charter Commission engaged with voters in both cities to solicit ideas for the new name. The Commissioners participated in radio, TV, and newspaper interviews to encourage citizens to participate. Over 1,000 submissions were received.
The Joint Charter Commission established criteria for reviewing names and selecting Lewiston-Auburn, as follows:
- Reflects the legacy of the two cities and honors the past
- Is visionary and future-focused
- Feels right
- Is easy to spell
After much discussion, the decision came down to three names: Great Falls, variations Lewiston-Auburn and Androscoggin.
Our community is known as and we call ourselves Lewiston-Auburn. Putting the two city names together is a clear signal that the new city is one rooted in a strong, shared heritage. We will thrive by building on that strong, shared heritage.
2) When will the new city name take effect?
The new city will be born on January 1, 2020, if the voters of both Lewiston and Auburn approve the proposed charter and consolidation agreement in November 2017. There will be a 26-month transition period.
3) What will happen during the transition period?
The transition plan will be developed by the Transition Task Force, as detailed in Article 11 of the proposed Charter.
In all likelihood one of the transition sub-committees will take responsibility for addressing name change issues. There are numerous other communities that have dealt with this, and their experiences will serve as guidelines for what we do here.
4) We are losing our identity by merging the names.
We are known as Lewiston-Auburn today. Nothing is being lost.
Going forward people will no doubt still use the single terms to denote geographical areas, just as New Auburn and Danville continue to be used to this day.
5) How will duplicative street names be handled?
There are approximately 30 duplicative street names. During the 26-month transition period, a transition sub-committee will decide how to resolve duplicate names. One simple solution would be to add East to Lewiston streets and West to Auburn streets.
6) If there is an emergency at my house, how will the police or firefighters find me?
The same way they do today.
Emergency dispatch center call takers receive map and location information provided by the 9-1-1 system (electronic global positioning data) for the location of the telephone used to report the emergency and they are trained to always verify the location of the emergency. This process is in place today and is expected to continue.
7) Will I need to file change of address forms for all of my magazines and service providers?
No. The US Postal Service and other delivery companies rely on the zip code or postal code as the first data point. Our zip or postal codes are not changing and mail will continue to be delivered, as it is today, regardless of whether the new city name or legacy city name is on your letters or packages.
To this day letters addressed to Danville, Maine 04210 are correctly delivered by the US Postal Service and other delivery companies.
8) What do I do with all of the return address labels I have?
Use them as you normally would and when your stock is depleted, order your next batch with our new city name: Lewiston-Auburn. No worries if you have more than 26 months of return address labels. As long as the zip or postal code is correct, mail will be properly processed.
9) After the new name takes effect, what will happen to mail addressed to me in Auburn, Maine? What will happen to mail addressed to me in Lewiston, Maine? Will it be returned to the sender?
If the zip code is correct, the mail will be delivered.
The US Postal Service and other delivery companies rely on the zip code or postal code as the first data point. Our zip or postal codes are not changing and your mail will continue to be delivered, regardless of whether the new city name or legacy city name is on your letters or packages.
10) Do I need to change my driver’s license and other official documents, such as car registration to Lewiston-Auburn, ME?
When your official documents, such as driver’s licenses and car registrations expire, you can renew them with our new city name: Lewiston-Auburn. Until natural renewal or expiration dates, documents listing Auburn, ME or Lewiston, ME are permitted to be used.
11) Will businesses with Auburn or Lewiston in their name be changing their names to reflect the new city name?
There is no need for a business with Auburn or Lewiston in the name to change their business name simply because the city name is changing. The Galt Animal Hospital still exists in Cambridge, Ontario 40 years after Galt and 2 other cities merged to become Cambridge. Decades after Winston-Salem, NC merged, Salem Kitchen is still operating under their original name. Closer to home, golfers are still playing at the Foxcroft Golf Club in Dover-Foxcroft.
12) How will GPS systems be updated?
There is a defined process for updating GPS systems and mapping companies and there is a standard protocol in place for both legacy and new city names to appear during a transition period. The same protocol applies when street names change: GPS systems and mapping companies list both street names during a transition period. The Transition Task Force will provide regular updates on topics such as this.