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Benefits of St. Louis city-county merger weighed

CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) -- A new nonpartisan effort will consider the feasibility of a merger between St. Louis city and St. Louis County.

The group called Better Together has scheduled a news conference for Tuesday afternoon to start the process. St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley and others are part of the effort.

Former Ambassador Bert Walker of St. Louis County says in a statement that a specific plan is not being put forward. The organization is seeking public input over the next 16 months and plans meetings to gauge interest in the idea.

St. Louis is unique in that it is a city that is its own county. The city and St. Louis County broke apart in 1876. Critics say the result is too much duplication of services.

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