Westchester County Executive George Latimer pledged to assist local leaders and municipalities in their effort to offset the loss of annual revenue after the Indian Point nuclear power plants shut down in a few years.
During a 90-minute appearance before the Community Local Unity Task Force at Cortlandt Town Hall Thursday night, Latimer said the county, which will lose $4 million annually from Entergy, owners of the plants, had a stake in Indian Point’s exit.
“This issue is important to everyone in Westchester County, on every level,” Latimer told the task force members. “We intend to be a partner in this. We’re defending our economic interest in common.”
Once the plans stop operating in 2021, $32 million in revenue will also come to a halt. The Hendrick Hudson School District will lose about $24 million, which represents one-third of its budget, while the Village of Buchanan will lose $3 million, which is half its budget. The Town of Cortlandt ($800,000), Hendrick Hudson Library ($400,000) and Verplanck Fire District ($400,000) will also suffer financial hits.
“We don’t want this community to become distressed,” said Cortlandt Supervisor Linda Puglisi. “We know there isn’t going to be $32 million at the end of the rainbow. We’re all realistic. We’re being proactive. This is a very big challenge.”
Puglisi mentioned the Cortlandt Town Board voted in January to retain an economic consultant to look at potential new revenue streams and possible new businesses.
Latimer said county officials would like to take a tour of the area in the near future to identify any open spaces to attract businesses or corporations.
He also offered the assistance of the county’s Legal Department to the task force at no cost to help in any way it can.
By Rick Pezzullo