Budget Plan Allocates $24 Million for Closing Power Plants
The funds will help offset the economic losses of closing plants like the Indian Point nuclear facility in Buchanan.
Tony Fischer | Flickr
Early last week, county leaders including Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Senator Terrence Murphy, and Assemblywoman Sandra Galef announced a final state budgetary plan that authorizes $24 million for The New York State Electric Generation Facility Cessation Mitigation Program. The fund will provide economic assistance to communities and school districts that would face at least a 20 percent decrease in funding due to reduced tax collection as the result of power plant closings. The first power plant to close and activate this fund will be Indian Point in 2021.
"For the communities around the plant the worry is very real," says County Executive George Latimer. "All of us in government need to work to help the transition be as smooth as possible."
The fund, which received an additional $15 million last year and now totals $56 million according to Cortlandt Town Supervisor Linda Puglisi, will dole out 80 percent of a community's lost revenues for the first year, then decrease by 10 percent per year for the remaining six years. This plan slowly weens the community off its dependence on power plant taxes.
"Indian Point’s closure in 2021 will have a significant impact on the Village of Buchanan which currently receives more than 40 percent of its revenue from the plant," says Buchanan Village Mayor Theresa Knickerbocker. "With additional funds authorized for the state power plant cessation fund, we are now more confident that the state’s assistance will be there when we become eligible."
Superintendent Joseph Hochreiter of the Hendrick Hudson School District added, "This will ensure our school district and neighboring communities will receive necessary funds when Indian Point closes."
What do you think of the scheduled Indian Point plant closure? Let us know in the comments below.
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