Voters in Wheatland and Hermitage will have the final say on whether Wheatland will merge into the city.

If it merges with the city, borough leaders say Wheatland won't lose its identity.

"We're not going to lose our name, we're just going to be governed by the city of Hermitage," Mike Niddel said, councilman in Wheatland.

Wheatland council and Hermitage city leaders recently reached a joint agreement to merge their communities. The plan is to file the agreement with the county court with in the next two weeks and put an ordinance on the November ballot for voters to decide.

Wheatland is already paying for Hermitage police and street department services. It pays out 40-percent of its annual budget to Hermitage.

For Wheatland, a merger would mean lower real estate taxes for Wheatland homeowners and businesses. Taxes would be reduced from 24.75 mills to just 5 mills.

"There's a lot of things that the city of Hermitage can offer us that we don't have now," Niddel said.

He points to less expensive access to Buhl Park and the library system.

Hermitage would gain more industrial zoned land if Wheatland merges.

City leaders believe they have more extensive resources to grow the local economy.

"The businesses want to be in a place where they feel safe, they have good access to the interstate system and good services," Gary Gulla said, assistant city manager of Hermitage. "We have very good police, fire and public works services in the city of Hermitage."

Gulla and Niddel tell 21 News that the volunteer fire departments in Hermitage and Wheatland are having preliminary talks about what a merger between their departments could look like.

Voters in both communities will decide whether to move forward with merger November 8.

Wheatland council will hold another informational meeting for people in the community at the Wheatland Borough Building  Monday evening and on October 12 at 6 p.m.