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Herkimer County school officials decide three-way merger is best option

By ANDREW DONOVAN

HERKIMER, N.Y. (WKTV) - Herkimer, Ilion and Mohawk school officials decided that a three-school merger is the best option for their districts. A new plan will be drawn together and the public will again be given the ultimate decision for a merger with a target date of July 1, 2013.

The boards of education from the three schools, as well as officials from Herkimer County BOCES, met Saturday morning in the Leatherstocking Conference Room at BOCES to discuss plans for the merger.

Many options were discussed, including only two of the districts merging. In the end, all three decided together would be the best option.

Ilion Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra said, "Simply, just most advantageous for the three of us to merge together."

Gary Tutty, the interim superintendent from Herkimer, said, "Once we commit, we need support from everybody to move forward with the merger. We wanted to make sure all three were committed."

Plans for a four-way merger, including Frankfort-Schuyler Schools, ended when Frankfort-Schuyler voters overwhelmingly said no. The vote had to be a unanimous yes among the four schools for that exact plan and timeline to move forward, with the new school launching in July of 2012.

Officials in the new three-way merger say some of the logistics from the previous four-way plan may carry over to the new plan, but the exact details will have to unfold. This biggest change noted now is the July 2013 start date.

Ilion Superintendent Tangorra said, "Individually, we are in hopeless situations and not everybody understands that. I guess our charge moving forward is to explain to people that a problem exists and the fact that these three boards are committed to moving forward together for the best interest of the children and their communities."

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