Residents divided on Kewanee and Wethersfield consolidation proposal

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

KEWANEE, Illinois - Two rivals school districts could become one, if the state of Illinois allows a referendum on the ballot asking for a consolidation of the Kewanee and Wethersfield School District.

The two school districts sit miles apart in Kewanee. The Wethersfield Flying Geese and the Kewanee Boilmakers have been cross town rivals for years.

There's even a street called Division that separates the two districts.

So it's no surprise that a city divided in half won't agree on everything, especially when it comes to consolidation.

Thursday, May 11th, there was a meeting held on one side of town for supporters of consolidation, on the other side of town were people opposed.

Supporters of the plan cite a feasibility study, showing there could be major advantages to consolidate the two districts.

"The districts are certainly being pushed to make the most of your funds and to take a look at whats available to their students overall," said Tameran Polowy, who lives in the Kewanee School District.

The group claims consolidation would mean more choices, including more courses and extra curricular activities for students.  The combined school district would also get more than $14 million in state funding.

However, those opposed say their kids are getting what they need  with both districts

"Our most important consideration is dong whats best our students and providing them with a small school experience," said Mary Alepra, whose children attend the Wethersfield School District.

Another issue brought up was property taxes. Homeowners could see property taxes go up anywhere from 3.79 percent to 4.87 percent.