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Belville, Leland mull merger

READ MORE: Belville, Leland mull merger

BELVILLE, NC (WWAY) -- Joining forces between two Brunswick County towns may be in the cards. But what would that mean for the Leland and Belville and their residents?

"As you sit down and view this presentation and see the data presented with all the data with an unbiased look, it makes sense for the two towns to be together," Belville Mayor Jack Batson said.

Batson and Leland Mayor Brenda Bozeman say merging is the way to grow.

Belville would gain services it now lacks. Leland would grow in size.

"It doesn't change much for Leland at all," Bozeman said. "It would benefit Belville to the fact that they're getting something for their tax dollars, 'cause right now they're not getting too much for their taxes."

Combining forces would mean a tax increase for Belville residents, but leaders say it would also mean more resources at the community's disposal.

Most residents we spoke with Monday say they don't care if the towns come together.

One belville resident, who did not want to be on camera, says she is disappointed with her town leadership and would welcome the change.

"It can't get no worse," the woman said. "We're not getting anything done now, so I don't know. It could be better."

One of the main resources that would be expanded to Belville residents would be the Leland Police Department. Leland leaders said while the department has been at the center of controversy for the last year, they feel they have solved the problems and are moving forward.

A hearing to discuss the proposed merger is scheduled for Thursday at 7 p.m. at Belville Town Hall.

Bozeman says she has also approached Navassa about merging with Leland, but she says that town's leaders do not seem interested in moving forward.

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