Frohna and Altenburg to merge, 13 years after the vote to do so - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Frohna and Altenburg to merge, 13 years after the vote to do so

From buildings, to landmarks, to the people who live here, the German heritage in Frohna and Altenburg runs deep. From buildings, to landmarks, to the people who live here, the German heritage in Frohna and Altenburg runs deep.

It's a change that's been a long time coming in Perry County, Missouri. Thirteen years ago the communities of Altenburg and Frohna voted to merge.

Now, city leaders are finally moving forward with the decision. So, the question is, why now?

Altenburg and Frohna are right next to each other, but pretty soon, those names might not even matter. That's the main thing about which people who call these communities home are concerned.

From buildings, to landmarks, to the people who live here, the German heritage in Frohna and Altenburg runs deep.

"The name has become a part of their life, a part of their history,” Joe Holt said.

After the consolidation is complete, both names will disappear.

"People are more fearful of losing the name, losing the history, losing the heritage or our area, I don't necessarily think they're afraid of the merger,” Holt said.

The Altenburg mayor says even though the decision to merge was made years ago, they couldn't agree on a name. Now, the issue is back on the starting line.

“We need to move forward with this and we need to get it finished,” Holt said.

Holt's business serves both Frohna and Altenburg. He says the merger would benefit the whole area.

“I feel it's going to create more opportunities for lots of different things for both towns,” Holt said,

But not everyone agrees. Others are not only upset about the merger, but also the process.

"Now we have to vote on four more names they give us. Altenburg is NOT an option anymore,” one resident said.

The cities have already combined fire protection, and joint gas and sewer, but Holt says that's not the only connection the communities already share.

“When something happens or when something is needed, the people do come together and it's really a good feeling to know that there are people out there who have your back,” Holt said.

While the Altenburg mayor says the merge is inevitable, the city attorney says the process could still take years. Thomas Hoeh says, soon, five people from each town will be chosen to make up the charter commission group, that group will determine details of the merger, like ward divisions, city offices, and the name.

Finally, residents will vote on the package. That vote is expected to come in April 2016.

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