HERMITAGE, Pa. (WKBN) – The city of Hermitage and the borough of Wheatland are in talks about potentially merging.
Wheatland officials approached city leaders in Hermitage about the idea in 2019. The idea was sparked by budgets cuts. With grant money, the municipalities had the Pennsylvania Economy League take a look into the benefits and costs of a merger.
That study was recently presented to both Hermitage and Wheatland.
“They are not telling us how to merge. They are just telling us that the financial end of it seems to be good for both communities,” said Wheatland Mayor Ron Viglio.
Hermitage already provides street and police services to Wheatland. The main change would be that the City of Hermitage will not be split into two parts.
“There is a piece of Hermitage to the west of Wheatland, and Hermitage has to drive through the borough to provide street and police services to that part of Hermitage,” said Hermitage City Manager Gary Hinkson.
Hinkson and Viglio agree that the merger wouldn’t change a lot for either municipality. The merger would only be for the municipalities – not the school districts, which will stay the same.
“We’re still going to be Wheatland. We’re still going to have our post office. We’re still going to have the same school district, which is Farrell. That’s not going to change. We’re always going to be Wheatland,” Viglio said.
There will be more talks in the near future about the merger.
“It appears to be a win-win situation moving forward,” Hinkson said.
Hinkson says they hope to have a plan finalized in the spring that residents can vote on next November.