FitzPatrick nuclear power plant announces closing, causes job loss
Energy Corp, a local energy company called a meeting with employees on the morning of Nov. 2 to announce the shutdown of FitzPatrick nuclear power plant, located in the town of Scriba, near Oswego.
This announcement comes after Entergy officials informed FitzPatrick in early October about the possibility of the closing. The plant is expected to close in late 2016 or early 2017.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he plans to stop this decision.
“New York will pursue every legal and regulatory avenue in an attempt to stop Entergy’s actions and its callous disregard for their skilled and loyal workforce,” Cuomo said in a statement.
Before the decision was made, FitzPatrick and its employees were told there was a possibility of the company not refueling the plant, which would lead to the plants closing when its current fuel supply ran out.
Closing FitzPatrick will leave the plant’s 615 employees without jobs. This move will also effect the numerous union trades that perform many support functions at the plant during scheduled outages. These trades include painters, electricians and carpenters.
The payroll for FitzPatrick was approximately $75 million, much of which helped the local economy. The nearly $17 million that FitzPatrick paid in annual property taxes went toward many local school budgets.
New York State ties school funding tightly to local property taxes. That creates a close tie between FitzPatrick and the Mexico Central School District in Oswego County. Taxes from the nuclear plant fund more than 23 percent of the school system of 2,123 students.
The nuclear plant pays about $17.3 million in county, town and school property taxes, of which $12.5 million goes to the school district. FitzPatrick’s share of the $25.6 million school tax levy is 49 percent. The total district budget is $54 million.