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Herkimer hopes to move forward with three district school merger

By LEXIE O'CONNOR

HERKIMER, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Herkimer Central School Board voted to move forward with a three district merger study with Mohawk and Ilion school districts Wednesday night.

Herkimer School Board President John Cipriano says without Frankfort-Schuyler approving the school merger in the straw vote, the school merger plan has just downsized.

Now the Herkimer, Mohawk and Ilion School Districts that did approve the merger will rework the data, draft a new study, and then present the new numbers, new concept, and new building usage plan to the public, putting forth a plan that Cipriano says will end up addressing many residents' previous concerns.

"Obviously the plan will be downsized, the bus runs will be fewer, and hopefully a little bit shorter, the size of the whole initiative will be reduced a little bit," says Cipriano. "I'm hoping that this reworked plan will be far more marketable to our communities than the original plan was."

Another big concern amongst residents was that the schools were moving too fast trying to merge by July of 2012. Cipriano says that timeline will most likely be tabled now, and the plan will be pushed to bringing a July 2013 merger.

Cipriano adds that a three district merger will most likely still receive incentive aid from the state because the state wants schools to merge. "The merger incentive packages make that obvious, that they want schools to come together so I'm sure and confident that they are going to do everything they can to assist us to keep this merger project going," says Cipriano.

Herkimer, Mohawk and Ilion school boards will hold their first reorganizational meeting Saturday January 28th at BOCES.

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