ILION, N.Y. (WKTV) - Residents gathered at Ilion High School Thursday night for a final chance to get their questions answered on the proposed merger of Ilion, Herkimer, Frankfort-Schuyler, and Mohawk school districts.
The meeting wraps up a string of presentations and discussion meetings outlining a 64 page merger study packet all meeting attendants received.
"It's been a long process, and all the information is there, it's not very hard to read, long, but not hard," says Ilion resident Steve Crane who has gone to almost every merger meeting.
Even though the room wasn't packed for the final meeting, Crane says he's not worried, because of all the information that has been and is available to residents. While he hopes everyone will read through the merger study like he did, he says he believes in the democratic process the voting will bring.
"People have a choice to make, either maintain our districts the best we can or join in a program that offers a lot," says Crane.
A choice that Ilion Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra understands is difficult for many residents to make but one that needs to be made.
"We're facing an unprecedented situation in terms of finance and how we deliver education, not only in the Valley but in the state," say Tangorra. "Folks really need to put their feelings aside and dig into the data."
Each district's school boards will vote next Tuesday on whether or not to move forward with the merger study and then if passed they'll be a straw vote on January 19th to indicate the communities' feelings.
Information on the merger and each district's Question and Answer Sessions can be found at: