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Ilion residents approve three district merger moving forward

By LEXIE O'CONNOR

ILION, N.Y. (WKTV) - Ilion residents voted 1274 yes, 589 no in Herkimer County's 3 School District Merger straw vote Tuesday night. After the votes were tallied, Ilion's Superintendent and Board of Education members left the high school thrilled to now be getting over the first hurdle in merging the Ilion, Herkimer and Mohawk districts.

"You know relief because I had an answer, not knowing was the hardest part," said Ilion Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra.

While Tangorra says it was difficult to guess what the other two districts were going to do, he had predicted Ilion residents to vote similar to how they did in the last referendum with four districts involved.

"The communications I had with Ilion residents between the four way on 18th of January and today have been clarifying questions so I really predicted a similar outcome and happy that it happened," said Tangorra.

With the proposed four district merger, when Frankfort/Schuyler schools were involved Ilion residents voted 1,221 yes, 755 no, a difference of 466 votes. This time around even more Ilion residents voted yes. With 1,274 yes votes and 589 no, the difference was 685.

"I'm assuming some folks are going to be disappointed and some kids are going to be anxious and nervous because they're unsure of what next year will bring," said Tangorra. "But students and children are resilient and they'll be fine."

Tangorra said he can't help but thank Ilion's school board and all three district's Citizens Advisory Committees for helping inform people to move the merger forward.

"These folks have worked tirelessly for close to two years," said Tangorra. "They're not employees of the district they're just citizens who are concerned about the children and have done a tireless and heroic job over these last 24 months, I just can't thank them enough."

Ilion school officials hope just as many people head to the polls October 18th for the Statutory Referendum, the binding vote.

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