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Residents overwhelmingly approve Ilion-Mohawk merger

By LEXIE O'CONNOR

ILION, N.Y. (WKTV) - After more than a year of merger studies, votes with other school districts, more merger studies and hearings upon hearings, it became official Tuesday night - the Ilion and Mohawk School Districts will merge into one entity for the following school year.

In Ilion, the vote received 1,131 yes votes and 456 no votes.

In Mohawk, the vote received 961 yes votes and 411 no votes.

Both Ilion and Mohawk district superintendents, members of the citizen advisory committee, staff and parents from both districts anxiously waited to hear if the Ilion and Mohawk districts would merge.

As chairman of the Board of Canvas, William Lenox announced the numbers at Ilion high school cheers were heard, hugs given and officials gave a sigh of relief.

"I'm certainly happy," said Ilion Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra. "The study demonstrated what a merged district would bring and I'm just happy for the children and the taxpayers."

Tangorra also thanked members of the Citizen Advisory Committee for all their work and persistence on the merger study the past two years.

On top of voting for whether or not to merge the schools, residents also voted on two other propositions, pertaining to the creation of a new school board in the new merged district.

Residents voted Tuesday to have a seven member school board, with each board member serving three year terms.

The reconfigured district would place an elementary school containing Pre-K through fourth grade in each district, a middle school containing fifth through eight grade at Mohawk's current Jarvis Junior-Senior High School building and ninth through twelfth grade at the current Ilion High School building.

The merged district takes effect July 1st.

The new Board of Education elections will be March 27th.

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