Vernon, Vt. ponders budget ahead of Yankee plant closing

VERNON, Vt. — The town that is home to Vermont’s only nuclear power plant is preparing for the loss of property tax money after the plant closes next year, but Vernon officials don’t know yet how the closing of Vermont Yankee will affect the local taxes paid by the plant’s owner.

The town selectboard is meeting weekly to begin planning the 2015 budget.

Selectboard Chairwoman Patty O’Donnell is assuring residents that local services will not be “devastated,” but reductions are inevitable.

“We have to cut hundreds of thousands of dollars out of our budget, so we have to think about a different way of doing things,” she said. “We’re dealing with a whole different world now than we were two months ago when we talked about all this stuff.”

Once the plant stops producing power, Entergy is likely to seek reassessment of the value of the property. But the decommissioning of the plant is expected to take decades.

The Brattleboro Reformer reports O’Donnell believes company administrators will work to soften that blow.

“I’m sure Entergy is going to work with us as much as they can,” she said.

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