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Buchanan Mayor Talks About Game Plan For Indian Point Closure

Village of Buchanan Mayor Theresa Knickerbocker

Less than a year from now, one of two reactors at New York’s Indian Point nuclear power plant will be permanently shut down. The second is slated for closure by April 30, 2021. Indian Point is in Buchanan, where Theresa Knickerbocker is mayor. She spoke with WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne about plans to replace revenue from the plant and more.

Indian Point is the largest employer and taxpayer in the village and surrounding communities. A bill recently introduced by Democrat Sandy Galef in the state Assembly would allow spent fuel rods, whether stored in pools or dry cask storage, to be taxed as real property. And with Buchanan standing to lose close to 50 percent of its revenue from Indian Point’s closure, Knickerbocker welcomes the possibility of making up for some of the loss.

She says securing a new revenue source from storing spent fuel would be novel in New York.

The surprise January 2017 announcement that an agreement had been reached to permanently close Westchester County-based Indian Point left Knickerbocker scratching her head about a new PILOT, or payment in lieu of taxes, deal.

Knickerbocker says she just focused on how to move forward.

And part of that game plan includes economic development, along with exploring shared services with the county and other municipalities. Knickerbocker addresses work on the state Indian Point Closure Task Force, of which she’s a member.

She says a biotech firm had inquired but needed the site ready within the year, which the village wasn’t sure it could pull off in time. She says another business is looking for financing, but declined to speak more about it. In April, Indian Point’s parent company Entergy announced it would sell the plant after shutting down to a subsidiary of Holtec International. Meantime, Knickerbocker is up for re-election to a fourth, two-year term in March 2020.

Independent Theresa Knickerbocker is mayor of the Village of Buchanan, home to the Indian Point nuclear power plant.

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