On Nov. 14, the day before he released his proposed countybudget that called for a 28.6% increase in property taxes and aone-cent hike in the county sales tax, Spano announced that thecounty intends to commission a $500,000 study of the possibletakeover of Indian Point.

Spano said the county will issue RFPs for the study and that thecounty intends to ask New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg if thecity wishes to participate in it Among the issues to be addressedare the cost of a takeover of Indian Point either by purchase orcondemnation; the replacement cost of the nuclear reactors withgas-fired generators that would supply "sufficient capacity;" how atakeover could be accomplished and the effect on energy rates andthe local tax base.

In addition, the study would investigate if a utility-agencytakeover of some or all of Con Edison's distribution system wouldbe beneficial to county ratepayers. "While there has been a lot ofrhetoric about closing Indian Point, only Entergy or the NuclearRegulatory Commission can make that decision," said Spano."However, if we buy the facility or, if needed, condemn it andconvert it, we don't need the company or the NRC. We can be mastersof our own fate."

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John Jordan

John Jordan is a veteran journalist with 36 years of print and digital media experience.