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Local Officials Concerned About Economic Impact Of Indian Point's Closure

Cortlandt Supervisor Linda Puglisi at a press conference Monday after Entergy announced it was closing Indian Point. Photo Credit: Sam Barron
Peekskill Mayor Frank Catalina at a press conference Monday after Entergy announced Indian Point's closure. Photo Credit: Sam Barron

CORTLANDT, N.Y. -- Indian Point, the biggest tax generator for the Town of Cortlandt, Village of Buchanan and Hendrick Hudson School District, is closing and taking all of its tax dollars with it.

Cortlandt Supervisor Linda Puglisi and Joseph Hochreiter, Superintendent of the Hendrick Hudson School District, were on hand Monday afternoon in Tarrytown when Entergy announced they were closing the nuclear power plant.

Unit 2 will shut down by April 30, 2020, and Unit 3 will shut down by April 30, 2021.

The closures come after Entergy reached a settlement agreement with New York State. As part of the shutdown agreement, the state has agreed to drop all legal challenges against the plant.

Indian Point makes up 33 percent of the revenue in the Hendrick Hudson school district budget and 46 percent of the tax revenue for the Village of Buchanan. The town, village, and school district have Payment In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOT) agreements with Entergy.

Hochreiter said Indian Point's closure could have a devastating impact on the school district.

"We are shocked," Hochreiter said. "We can communicate a change in our school lunch program better than what Entergy coordinated."

Hochreiter said the district stands to lose $23.3 million in tax revenue, which could lead to plummetting property values.

"This puts our kids and our community at risk," Hochreiter said. "This could make for some very dangerous and unfortunate decisions. This has real consequences. I hope the governor will step up to the plate. I hope he has a plan.

Puglisi has been upset that she was not informed of the closure ahead of time, finding out from a report in the New York Times.

"Whenever a nut or bolt or screw falls on the ground, I get a phone call, even at 2 in the morning," Puglisi said. "It's extremely disappointing there has not been any transparency on these negotiations."

Puglisi called for a Blue Ribbon Commission to address issues with the closure of the plant. The supervisor said the commission should include state, county, and local officials along with key stakeholders. A similar commission was established when General Motors closed its Sleepy Hollow plant.

Peekskill Mayor Frank Catalina said the decision to close the plant is pure politics.

"This is pulling out an economic engine right from under us," Catalina said. "The governor remembers my birthday, he remembers Christmas, but we never received a notification about this. I'm very disappointed in the lack of action from government and the lack of consideration for families.  What are they going to do with the site? We should know about that."

As part of an agreement made with the state, Entergy will provide $15 million to community stakeholders after Indian Point is closed.

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