Governor Paul LePage said this week that he thinks Lewiston and Auburn should combine into one big city, and be the 'next Portland.'

The two cities already share some consolidated services. but the governor wants them to go even further, merging into one large city straddling the Androscoggin River. LePage made the comment Wednesday when he met with Lewiston's mayor Robert MacDonald and Mayor Jonathan LaBonte of Auburn. The trio had lunch at Simones' Hot Dog Stand and discussed the idea of an urban merger.

The Sun Journal reports the governor said the combined city could become the next 'economic engine' and the next Portland, with a population of 150,000 within five years. LePage has offered to work with the mayors of both communities to make it happen.

MacDonald says he supports the idea, but LaBonte, who's an adviser to LePage, has voiced some reservations.