WHEATLAND, Pa. (WKBN) — At the Wheatland Municipal Building, 65 people attended Wednesday’s meeting to learn about the upcoming merger with Hermitage.

On Jan. 1, the Wheatland Municipal Building will become part of the City of Hermitage, as New Year’s Day marks when Wheatland officially merges with Hermitage. The plan is to keep the building operational, have a display of Wheatland history and use the social hall. Meeting attendees discussed with officials what other changes the merger will bring.

“We pledge to you that the name Wheatland will always be here and we will preserve the history of your municipality,” said Gary Hinkson, Hermitage city manager, to the attendees.

Hinkson led the meeting, but Wheatland Mayor Ron Viglio was also there.

Viglio said Hermitage has already been providing police and street services.

“Over the years, they have done a great job with us. We’ve got a very good relationship with them,” Viglio said. “This is a win for both communities.”

For example, taxes for Wheatland residents will decrease, while Hermitage will have access to Wheatland’s industrial corridor, where plants like Sharon Tube and Wheatland Tube operate.

“We believe that the lower tax rate on property, and the fact the city has resources to work with those businesses, we can help them grow,” Hinkson said. “Maybe attract new industry into what will now be Hermitage.”

Two people wondered about changing school districts: Having Wheatland students attend the Hickory schools, and not the Farrell schools where Wheatland students now go.

“Wheatland students currently go to the Farrell area school district. They will continue to do that,” said Mark Longietti, Hermitage director of business and community development.

Longietti told the people to consult a lawyer if they want to change school districts. Longietti also said studies are underway on Wheatland’s facilities, roads and zoning.

“We need to fit the properties that are in Wheatland into the Hermitage zoning that’s available and create a new map,” Longietti said.

Under Pennsylvania law, businesses in Wheatland currently operating that end up under different zoning will be grandfathered and allowed to operate as-is.

A public meeting focusing solely on zoning will take place at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13, at the Wheatland Borough Building.