Parents voice concerns over proposed CV-CF merger

By Jillian Marshall

October 3, 2013 Updated Oct 3, 2013 at 7:38 AM EDT

Town of Chenango, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Hundreds of parents and residents of Chenango Valley and Chenango Forks school districts showed up for a community discussion over the proposed merger of the crosstown rivals.

Many also voiced their concerns over a tax hike that would apply to nearly half the town's residents, should the districts become one.

The agency that compiled the study, OLS Study Team, presented the plan to a near capacity crowd inside the auditorium of Chenango Forks Middle School.

"My concern with the school merging, how many children will not be participating in sports," said Chenango Valley parent Dee Taubar.

Along with frustrations with cutting back sports teams, residents of Chenango Forks are upset that their annual school taxes could hike $300, while Chenango Valley residents could see a nearly $200 drop.

"I don't care if they merged, but I do care about taxes," said Chenango Forks taxpayer Maggie Murray.

This study proposes a blended tax rate, meaning it would average the two tax rates from each school district; residents in Chenango Valley's district now pay a higher rate than those living in Chenango Forks.

"You could tell your kids that you were the last Chenango Valley class and they wouldn't even know what Chenango Valley is," said Chenango Valley senior Zach Cole.

The school board from each district are set to vote on the merger on Oct. 28. If both boards approve, the plan will be presented to the community for a popular vote.