What to Know
Indian Point operator Entergy confirmed the nuclear power plant will close starting in 2020; Gov. Cuomo wants it shuttered by 2021
Community members are worried about a loss of 1,200 jobs and economic fallout; "Are we about to become Detroit?" one man asked at a Q&A
The bipartisan panel had few answers at Thursday's Q&A and Cuomo, who was invited to attend, didn't show up
Residents who live near Indian Point attended a public forum in Cortland Manor on Thursday to voice their concerns about the economic fallout of Gov. Cuomo's plan to close the nuclear power plant in less than five years.
One by one, Westchester residents fearing lost jobs, home values and taxes took their turn asking questions to a bipartisan panel that had few answers.
Indian Point isn’t just a massive power source for the area, it’s also a way of life for many residents. Cuomo’s announcement that Indian Point would close by 2021 surprised the community, which is now bracing for the loss of thousands of jobs and millions in tax revenue.
“I don’t want to see the devastation that’s going to happen without them having enough time?” Local 12 union leader Craig Dickerson said.
Bruce Cohen operates a landscaping business in Cortland Manor. He, like many, fears home values will now plummet.
“Are we about to become Detroit?” asked Cortlandt Manor landscaper Bruce Cohen. “That’s the real question.”
Republican State Senator Terrence Murphy said that he made several calls to Cuomo’s office to ask about fears over taxes and jobs. He finally got a response, but it wasn’t what he was looking for.
“I’ve asked answers on taxes. They have no answer for me,” Murphy said. “We’re going to lose over 1,200 jobs.”
Cuomo was invited to attend Thursday night’s Q&A, but didn’t show.
Not everyone was upset with the governor, who has said that the nuclear power plant poses too great a risk to New York City. Some residents were most concerned about what to do with radioactive material.
“This is a normal part of a business cycle. It’s just time,” one man said.
Entergy Corporation, which runs Indian Point, said it plans to operate the plant for four more years and to keep a current headcount until after it closes. They also plan to commit $15 million to a fund to help the community.
Entergy also offered to help workers move to the company’s southern fleet as part of their contracts, but that would mean uprooting families. That’s why so many residents hoped Cuomo would show.
Murphy said he wants the governor to “sit at the table with us, answer some of the questions.”
Cuomo’s office told NBC 4 New York on Thursday night that it wants to assure residents that the governor will work with the state to try to find residents new jobs or retrain them for new skills in renewable technologies.