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Town of Tonawanda to receive $160,000 in federal funding

WASHINGTON – The Town of Tonawanda has won a $160,000 federal grant to come up with a plan to deal with the pending closure of the Huntley Generating Station.

The Economic Development Administration grant will allow the town, in conjunction with the University at Buffalo’s Regional Institute, to develop a long-term plan to address what should be done with the facility, and what should be done to cope with the loss of tax revenue from the plant.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., and Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, announced the grant.

“What Tonawanda needs now is a comprehensive economic plan to determine its future – and this significant federal Economic Development Agency investment will allow the town to do just that,” Schumer said.

NRG Energy, which owns the out-of-date and pollution-producing coal-fired power plant, has announced plans to begin laying off its 75 employees in March, but Higgins said that’s just part of the impact of the closing.

“The loss of Huntley Plant tax revenue is leaving a huge hole in the Town of Tonawanda and Ken-Ton school budgets, raising serious concerns about the ability to maintain a level of service that residents, parents, teachers and students deserve,” said Higgins. “This federal funding will help to develop creative strategies that can help minimize the impact of this loss.”