LEWISTON – The Twin Cities’ consolidation efforts won’t end when coordinator Stephen Eldridge leaves in January to take a job as Lisbon’s town manager.

Ron Bissonnette, co-chairman of the Citizen’s Commission on Joint Lewiston-Auburn Services, could not say how the group would replace Eldridge, but Bissonnette was confident the group would find a way to carry on Eldridge’s work.

“Without someone in that role, the commission’s work cannot get done,” Bissonnette said. “It’s not even the commission’s work, really. It’s the joint services coordinator’s work, and we just guide what he does.”

The commission hired Eldridge in March to work for 15 months at an annual salary of $55,000. He was directed to design recommendations for combining specific city functions, such as fire, police and public works.

“Stephen’s been a valuable asset for us, but it was a short-term position and we knew he was looking for something permanent,” Bissonnette said.

He said he expected the joint services coordinator to present his findings to both city councils in January.

Eldridge said he expects the commission to hire a replacement.

“We’re not finished, but the next steps are really up to the city councils,” Eldridge said.

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