Will three school districts become one? That question will be answered tonight in the Mohawk Valley.
Residents in Ilion, Herkimer and Mohawk are voting yes or no for the merger. There are a lot of mixed, strong reactions from residents and even students Thursday night.
After multiple public forums and a straw vote in September, residents are coming out one last time to decide the fate of the merger. Voters are deciding on three propositions today at the polls.
The first proposition- should Herkimer, Ilion and Mohawk school districts merge as one? The second, if they merge, how many members will be on the school board? And the third proposition, how long will those terms be?
"I just wish once this valley would go for progress," Beverly McKinley.
Residents in favor of the merger say combining the districts will build a stronger foundation for students. Voters say students will be more competitive and they will also be offered more courses.
"It's going to serve kids more opportunity and also the residents," said Annette Marro.
"I'm basically for it because I think it will give our kids the opportunities that they may won't have down the line as far as funds," said Richard Bly.
But, opposing voters say students will lose their school spirit. They argue the merger is only a temporary relief, not a solution. And although students against the merger cannot vote, they resorted to another way to get their voices heard.
These seniors at Herkimer High School say they're fighting for their family members.
"My sister will be on the bus for an hour and a half and i live 10 minutes from the school," said Erika Ball, a senior.
As transportation is an issue to some, others say the identity of the various schools will be lost.
"In Herkimer sports is a huge thing for us so it will be more difficult for kids to make teams and become athletes and everything else," said senior Marissa Annuttl.
If the merger passes, residents will be electing members for the school board on December 19th.
If it fails, the superintendent of the districts says the next step is for the separate schools to develop their budgets for the next school year. If the merger fails, the school districts will have to wait a year and a day to think about another merger proposal.
Polls are open until 8 tonight.