The Northern Westchester Examiner

Hen Hud Already Feeling Financial Effect of Indian Point Closure

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One of the two remaining nuclear units at Indian Point isn’t closing until April, but the Hendrick Hudson School District is already experiencing a financial aftershock.

“Reality is setting in,” Hendrick Hudson Superintendent of Schools Joseph Hochreiter remarked last week at a joint meeting of the New York State Indian Point Closure Task Force and Community Unity Task Force in Cortlandt. “We know a good deal couldn’t last forever.”

In the proposed 2020-21 budget, Hendrick Hudson will receive $3.9 million less from Entergy, owners of the plants in Buchanan. Despite utilizing $3 million for a state cessation fund and $1.4 million from fund balance, residents in the district are looking at an 8.7% tax increase when they vote on the $82.6 million budget in May.

The following year, Hendrick Hudson will be receiving about $10 million less from Entergy as the pilot program winds down.

Overall, when the pilot ends in 2025, the district is facing a $24 million hit, or 33% of its budget. The Village of Buchanan is set to lose $4 million, or 46% of its operating funds. The Town of Cortlandt will lose $800,000 annually, or two percent of its budget, while the Verplanck Fire Department will lose 64% of its budget and the Hendrick Hudson Free Library will be shortchanged 28%.

“The cessation fund is a very important piece of our long-term plan,” Hochreiter said. “As Entergy goes away, we know we have some financial decisions to make.”

“These communities definitely need this as a transition,” Buchanan Mayor Theresa Knickerbocker said.

On January 8, the Board of Education supported a recommendation by Hochreiter not to pursue the idea of closing an elementary school in the district. Instead, the district will be studying the feasibility of organizing its elementary students by grade level, more commonly known as the Princeton Plan.

The state has set up a cessation fund for entities in areas where power plants have closed to receive grants for up to seven years to help compensate for the loss of revenue. The state has authorized $69 million in the fund to date, but about $27 million has been withdrawn from municipalities throughout the state.

Congresswoman Nita Lowey was also successful in establishing a $15 million federal program for economic development where communities directly affected by the loss of nuclear power plants can apply for grants.

In January 2017, Entergy, which purchased the Indian Point plants more than 16 years ago, announced, to the complete surprise of local leaders, its plan for the early and orderly shutdown of Indian Point by April 30, 2021 as part of a settlement with New York State and Riverkeeper.


In November, Entergy and Holtec International announced they had jointly filed a License Transfer Application with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, requesting approval for the transfer of the NRC licenses for Indian Point to Holtec after the last unit permanently shuts down.

Holtec has come under some scrutiny from some local leaders and residents for not having enough experience to adequately oversee the decommissioning of a nuclear facility.

“I was less than impressed,” Cortlandt Councilman Dr. Richard Becker said, referring to a January 15 meeting where a Holtec representative met with the Community Unity Task Force. “I came out more worried than when I came in. I left there unsettled.”

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