Plan would put Lake Wobegon County on the map

You won't find "Lake Wobegon County" anywhere on a map of Minnesota.

But if a state senator has her way, some Minnesotans may one day be living in an area named after A Prairie Home Companion host Garrison Keillor's fictional hometown.

Sen. Tarryl Clark, DFL-St. Cloud, introduced a bill Tuesday that would combine all of Stearns and Benton counties and the northern part of Sherburne County.

Clark says the city of St. Cloud is divided among the three counties, which duplicates services and creates challenges for local residents. Clark says she doesn't expect action on the bill until next year.

"What we're proposing today is that we start a conversation, a community conversation about what would happen if we'd remove those boundaries, what would happen if we'd remove those borders, and the opportunities that we would have for efficiency and streamlining," said Clark.

The legislators have referred to the proposed government entity as "Lake Wobegon County," but they insist they aren't trying to select a name. They say county residents would ultimately make that decision.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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