Indian Point Closure One Year Later Report
Indian Point’s Closure Announced by
Governor Andrew Cuomo and
the Entergy CEO on January 9, 2017
ONE YEAR LATER REPORT
January 9, 2018
By: Town of Cortlandt Supervisor Linda D. Puglisi with comments from
Village of Buchanan Mayor, Theresa Knickerbocker
Superintendent of Hendrick Hudson School District, Joseph Hochreiter
One year ago today an announcement was made at two press conferences to close the two active nuclear energy plants at Indian Point located in the Village of Buchanan and in the Town of Cortlandt in the years 2020 and 2021.
“It's been a year of many meetings, asking many questions and trying to get our head around the challenges we face and how best to mitigate the loss of revenue and jobs for our community.”~ Mayor Theresa Knickerbocker, Village of Buchanan
“While the news of Indian Point's closure shocked and surprised our community, I remain optimistic and hopeful that our collective advocacy efforts, by working with local state and federal officials, will ensure that our world class educational opportunities for the children of Hendrick Hudson remain intact for generations to come.
Our community has rallied together and has shown a resilience to work collaboratively, a willingness to be informed and educated, and commitment to work together as we confront the revenue gap Indian Point's closure will create. One year later, our focus will be to ensure governmental financial assistance, and that property taxes will not be the sole source to close the projected financial gap. We will also focus on working with area businesses and economic development associations in an attempt to re-imagine and redevelop the Indian Point property so we can create new and innovative business opportunities in our region on the plant's site.”~ Superintendent Joseph Hochreiter, Hendrick Hudson School District.
I attended the Entergy’s CEO press conference that morning that took place in Tarrytown, not in our Village or Town. None of us in the local area were given any prior notice of this announcement which in my opinion was unfair.
Along with my partners, Village of Buchanan Mayor, Theresa Knickerbocker and Hendrick Hudson’s School Superintendent, Joseph Hochreiter formed a local Community Unity Task Force that has met at least once a month at Cortlandt Town Hall. The members include representatives from affected entities that will lose annual revenue once the plants close: Town of Cortlandt, Village of Buchanan, Hendrick Hudson School District, Westchester County, Verplanck Fire District and the Hendrick Hudson Free Library. Local realtors, the Chamber of Commerce, Labor Union/Trades representatives, a local citizen’s organization – Power through Cortlandt, and other interested residents, other elected officials or their representatives (at other levels of government) and staff advisors from the town, Village and School District are members of this active task force.
In total all of the entities receive annually $32 million dollars:
They will all lose this revenue with the closure of Indian Point.
Town of Cortlandt 2% $ 800,000.
Village of Buchanan 46% $ 4 million
Hendrick Hudson School District 33% $24 million
Westchester County 1% $ 4 million
Verplanck Fire District 64% $ 372,703.
Hendrick Hudson Free Library 28% $ 394,110.
The other challenges will be the loss of jobs: 1,100 permanent, many part-time workers and outside contractors, as well. On a given day there could be 2,000 workers at the 240 acres site and at the two active operating nuclear plants that supply most of the power to New York City and the area.
Where will that replacement energy come from is a main question we all have been asking over the year. Also, the decommissioning of the plants could take up to sixty (60) years according to the NRC and therefore the re-use of this site is in question. This is an important point to make because our community needs to find other economic/ commercial/industrial businesses to help us offset the loss of revenue and jobs.
The Town of Cortlandt Town Board and I are hiring and paying for an outside economic development consultant to assist us with this endeavor. I believe the State and/or Entergy should pay for this consultant ($75,000.) since they announced the closure of the plants.
I immediately with my colleagues requested that the Governor establish a Blue Ribbon Commission or at least a State task force to work with us on these very serious issues and concerns. They did in the Spring of 2017 and I along with the Mayor and Superintendent are members of this task force. The State also has retained a consultant to specifically address the reuse of the 240 acres in the near/far future. That report will be completed in April of 2018.
It has been a year of intense research including speaking to other communities that have gone through closures of nuclear plants (i.e. in Illinois, Vermont and Massachusetts). We have had many speakers address our local task force including Entergy, the NRC, other applicable agencies and public officials at every level of government. Mayor Knickerbocker traveled to Vermont to speak to officials and residents going through a closure of a nuclear plant.
We attended many other forums, have given talks to various groups, testified in Albany to state committees and written monthly reports/updates for our community, which have been posted on our town website/facebook. The Village and School District do the same.
In the year 2011, when Governor Cuomo first took office I requested in writing a meeting with him and that a task force or a Commission be established to start planning for the eventual closure of Indian Point, since he was stating even then that it was his intention to have the plants closed. For whatever reason, that meeting never took place and still hasn’t taken place. However, many of the states’ departments are working with us on the State Task Force, which we all appreciate. We are looking forward to the reuse report in April.
We also have the support of other elected officials including Congresswoman Nita Lowey, Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, State Senator Terence Murphy and our two County Legislators, Catherine Borgia and John Testa.
The real problem is that there is no source of funding at the state or federal levels to offset our loss of revenue that begins in 2020/2021 - $32 million in total and the loss of many good jobs.
The Town Board and I have agreed to set aside $100,000 each year in a special fund to address our loss of revenue in our budget from these plants closing ($800,000 each year is what we have received). I thank my partners and our task force and always our town board members for their efforts on this challenge. We will continue to work very hard for our community.
Supervisor Linda Puglisi
Town of Cortlandt