Meetings and hearings coming up Feb. 28, March 2, March 16; state officials visited Feb. 17 to talk about property, power and revenue loss.
CORTLANDT, NY — Cortlandt town Supervisor Linda Puglisi issued an update Friday on the community work done so far since Entergy announced it was closing Indian Point.
Our first Community Task Force meeting comprised of local elected officials, Hendrick Hudson School District officials, the Chamber of Commerce, a Westchester County government representative, local realtors, a citizen group representative, Hendrick Hudson Free Library officials, Verplanck Fire District official, etc. took place on Thursday, February 16, 2017 at Cortlandt’s Town Hall. The meeting was open for the public to observe. The purpose is for the task force representing a cross-section of the community to collectively work together to plan for the closure of our major taxpayer and employer, Indian Point, in 2020/2021.
The next meeting is scheduled for March 16, 2017, 7 pm at Town Hall. This group will meet at least once a month for months and perhaps years to come to address all issues related to the closures.
Various speakers will be featured at each meeting related to these challenges facing our community.
On Tuesday, February 28, 2017 I along with the other key officials from the Village of Buchanan (Mayor) and Hendrick Hudson School District (Superintendent) will be going to Albany to testify at a public hearing of the joint Assembly and Senate Energy Committee to state our many concerns, issues and challenges facing our community with the upcoming closure of Indian Point. These issues include: loss of tax revenue – a total of $33 million dollars per year for all parties involved in the P.I.L.O.T. (Town of Cortlandt, Village of Buchanan, Hendrick Hudson School District, Westchester County, Hendrick Hudson Free Library, Verplanck Fire District) loss of many jobs, impact to local businesses, security and safety issues once closed due to the ongoing storage of the spent fuel rods and other issues, as well.
On Thursday, March 2nd at 6:30 pm at Local 21 Union Hall, 1024 McKinley Street, I will be attending New York State Senator Terrence Murphy’s Public hearing regarding the same topic, the closure of Indian Point in 2020/2021.
On Friday, February 17, 2017 a group of NY State representatives from the Governor’s administration came down to our Cortlandt Town Hall to meet with me, the Village of Buchanan Mayor, the Hendrick Hudson School District Superintendent and various local staff advisors. The purpose was for us to ask them our questions about what the State could do to assist us with the announcement of the closure of Indian point.
These officials from the Department of PSC and Counsels for the State and Deputy Secretary for Environment, as well as a representative from the State Education Department spoke with us for over two hours and pledged to return periodically to further this important dialogue. The State provided the background and reasons for their Indian Point concerns over the years and for the settlement reached between the Governor (NYS) and Entergy for closure. They also told us that there has been planning for replacement of the power lost once Indian Point closes. More details on this subject will be forthcoming in the near future, they told us.
This State team assured us that on behalf of the Governor that they are committed to working with the local taxing jurisdictions and on trying to mitigate tax impacts to our community and therefore to our taxpayers.
They and we agreed that the time to plan is NOW because three and four years go by quickly.
My colleagues and I asked many questions about the reuse of the property (240 acres) the decommissioning process, about funding to assist local areas that lose a major industry such as Indian Point, job retraining, working with the State’s Economic Development Department and about the safety and environmental issues surrounding these plants including the storage of the spent fuel rods and many other questions. These were the major topics.
Obviously, all of our questions could not be answered at one meeting with these State officials, but we are pleased that they did spend time with us last week. They listened to our concerns and pledged to keep the dialogue and work going for and with us. As always, I will continue to give updated reports to our task force and community.
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