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Supporters urge residents to get informed and vote on 3 District Merger

By LEXIE O'CONNOR

ILION, N.Y. (WKTV) - About 60 people filled Ilion High School Thursday night, eager to hear more about a merger that will combine the Herkimer, Mohawk, and Ilion school districts. The community meeting was the third out of four meetings, with the 3 district superintendents giving a brief presentation on the proposal and answering any questions residents may have. The first vote on the three district merger proposal is September 12th.

One group in full force at the meeting was the "Friends of the 3 District Merger." It's members, many who were part of the citizen advisory committee, sat beside the three superintendents supporting them showing the benefits of merging, and urging residents to get informed and vote.

"I think that everyone needs to look at what the kids need and being on this committee for a year and a half tells me that the kids aren't getting what they need and it's going to become less and less," said Laura Wastowicz of Ilion who is part of "Friends of the Three District Merger."

Wastowicz painted her garage for the meeting and the days leading up to the Straw Vote for residents to see as they drove down the hill leaving the meeting, reminding the communities of the important role they play in their students' futures.

"Our kids depend on the voting on September 12," said Wastowicz. "I wanted everyone to see it when they leave this school, it's right outside, it's right on the border of the Ilion school property and I want people to know that there is a vote and to remember to come out and vote on that date."

The next and final community meeting will be held at Herkimer County Community College on August 22nd.

The Advisory Referendum (straw vote) where each district will decide if the three district merger proposal will move forward is September 12th.

Absentee ballots applications for the upcoming vote are now available.

Residents may contact the district clerk in their school district for an application.
The clerks are:
Ken Long, Ilion Central School District: (315) 894-9943.
Marsha Griffith, Mohawk Central School District: (315) 867-2904
Sharon Judd, Herkimer Central School District: (315) 866-2230

If each district approves the Herkimer, Ilion and Mohawk school district merger Advisory Referendum, the Statutory Referendum will be October 18th.

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