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Informational meeting on proposed school merger held in Ilion

By LEXIE O'CONNOR

ILION, N.Y. (WKTV) - The third of four meetings on a proposed three district merger in Herkimer County is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday night at Ilion High School.

The meeting is expected to begin with a brief Power Point presentation on the proposal and then the three superintendents will answer any questions.

If passed, each district will keep one Pre-k through 4th grade elementary school.

Grades 5-6 will attend school in Mohawk, grades 7-8 will go to Herkimer and grades 9-12 will go to Ilion High School.

Under the proposal, more sports and music programs will be added.

Finance wise, the merger could bring an additional $58 million in state aid and lower taxes in the Villages of Herkimer and Mohawk.

Molly Bonnell, a member of the group "friends of the Merge" was on hand for Thursday night's meeting and spoke with NEWSChannel 2's Lexie O'Connor. (the video of that interview can be seen by clicking the video player of this story)

Without the merger, officials with all three school districts say there will have to be cuts.

Ilion School Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra said that the Board of Education used a significant amount of fund balance for this year, in anticipation for a successful referendum. Without it, he says there will be a reduction in academic, athletic, and artistic programs and approximately 20% of employees will be considered for reduction.

One more informational meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, August 22 at 6 p.m. at Herkimer County Community College

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