Plymouth Town Officials Confident They’ll be Okay after Pilgrim Power Station Closes



PLYMOUTH – The closure of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station will have a significant impact on the town of Plymouth, but town officials are confident that they can withstand the effects.

The town receives nearly $10 million in direct tax benefits from the plant’s owner Entergy, plus the benefit of jobs and related money spent by those who work there.

Plymouth Town Manager Melissa Arrighi said the tax benefit was set to expire in fiscal year 2017 and only represents about seven percent of the town’s property tax base.

She said she believes the town won’t be impacted much and they will be just fine once the plant closes in 2019.

“It hasn’t become as much of the overall influx of income to the town of Plymouth as it has in the past,” said Arrighi. “We’ve set aside about $3 million in a special mitigation fund for the eventuality of the plant closing, so that has been funding we can use. We will be actually adding to that funding at the Spring Special Town Meeting.”

But Chairman of the Plymouth Board of Selectmen Kenneth Tavares said he is worried about the loss of jobs that will come with the plant’s closing.

About 190 residents work at the plant and others live in the surrounding area.

Tavares said that town officials are working with state and federal representatives to minimize the loss as much as they can.

That includes investing in tourism and attracting new businesses to the community.

“We are optimistic. We know we have challenges but we feel very confident that we’re up to them, as long as the health and safety of our residents is protected by the NRC and the people that have oversight of the plant,” said Tavares.

As far as future use of the property that Entergy owns, Tavares said it is too soon to say what could be done.

“I think it’s a long-range discussion. There are certainly going to be restrictions if the spent fuel rods are still there,” said Tavares. “It does limit what you can do and how close you can get to the plant. Many, many agencies and regulatory authorities would have to weigh in on that, and it’s much, much too early to speculate what could happen there.”

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