Tonawanda News

The Town

February 24, 2014

Coalition hosting Huntley forums in town

Tonawanda News — Clean Air Coalition is holding a series of public forums to discuss the release of a recent report that indicates Huntley Station power plant in the Town of Tonawanda is at risk of shutting down.

"The four Just Transition Assemblies will provide participants a chance to learn about the report's findings, brainstorm what residents, workers and local governments will need in the future and identify community priorities moving forward," Rebecca Newberry, of the coalition, said in the statement.

 The study was released last month, and was commissioned by the coalition in response to residents' concerns. The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis completed the report.

“The bleak financial future for the Huntley plant does not indicate any near-term relief from the economic forces that have made the plant unprofitable in recent years,” Cathy Kunkel, the report’s coauthor and research fellow, said during a news conference about the report.

The report encouraged community stakeholders to plan for the retirement of the plant and find ways to help protect the workers, as well as the town and school district — which receive tax money from the company. Coalition Director Erin Heaney said the coalition hopes to lead that effort, and transition assemblies have been planned to share the report and generate ideas on how to move forward — and ensure that the town’s tax base remains stable.  

"It's time to take a pro-active step to come to the table to protect Huntley's workers, preserve the environment and generate sufficient tax revenue for schools and local governments," the release states.

The coalition's meetings are set for:

• 3 p.m. on Saturday at Boys and Girls Club, 54 Riverdale Road, Town of Tonawanda

• 6 p.m. on Monday at the Grand Island Memorial Library, 1715 Bedell Road, Grand Island

• 6 p.m. on March 6, Northwest Community Center, 155 Lawn Ave., Buffalo

• 6 p.m. on March 13, Tonawanda City Hall, 200 Niagara St., Tonawanda

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