Indian Point’s Impact on the Buchanan Community

Posted: July 2, 2018

Last week, Indian Point’s host town Buchanan was featured in a significant article in The New York Times, which examined the community’s high-demand real estate market. Reporter Susan Hodara points out that despite the imminent closure of Indian Point, Buchanan continues to attract homeowners due to affordable housing and a manageable commute to the city.

“Neither the plant’s presence nor its proposed closure daunted Theresa and Angelo Vairo. In February, they paid $448,000 for a 2,200-square-foot, three-bedroom split level, built in 1964 on a cul-de-sac. Their .3-acre property includes a pool and deck.

“Indian Point, Ms. Vairo said, ‘had nothing to do with our decision, either way.’

“Instead, the Vairos considered location. Both commute to Manhattan, where Ms. Vairo, 53, is an executive assistant at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Mr. Vairo, 50, works in construction. ‘I wanted the station to be no more than 10 minutes away,’ Ms. Vairo said.”

Despite the attractive housing market, Buchanan’s local officials are preparing for the economic loss of Indian Point, which provides $1.3 billion to Westchester County every year.

With the plant scheduled to shutter in 2021, a shadow is hovering over Buchanan. Theresa Knickerbocker, Buchanan’s mayor and a lifelong resident, said the 1.4-square-mile village in the town of Cortlandt stands to lose close to $3 million in annual revenue from Entergy, nearly half its operating budget. Tax hikes are anticipated.

Last November, the village surveyed its approximately 2,250 residents about possible service cuts. State, town and village task forces have been formed to investigate subsidies and support. ‘We are working hard to mitigate the impact,’ Ms. Knickerbocker said. ‘We are going to have to reinvent ourselves.’”

Despite The New York Times’ thorough examination of the Buchanan community, they continued to overlook the elephant in the room: how is Buchanan and the surrounding community preparing for the loss of Indian Point’s annual 2,000 megawatts? A plan needs to be determined soon, lest Westchester County and New York, which attribute nearly 25 percent of their overall energy intake to Indian Point, be left in the dark.

Fortunately, we have three more years of Indian Point’s reliable operation. But they will go too quickly unless we establish an energy plan for New York’s future soon.