BYRON, Ill. (WTVO) – Byron residents and local business owners are reportedly saving their back-up plans for another day, and are relieved they will continue to see the steam coming from Byron Generating Station’s stacks.
Christina Joesten lives across the street from the plant, and she said learning of it’s potential closure was nerve-wracking.
“It would be a major loss just seeing it empty,” Joesten said. “I am just thrilled because the tax base is going to be saved. Everyone’s breathing a big sigh of relief because our taxes aren’t going to go up. We can keep the good things with the schools, the police departments, and everything. Everything good can stay. I was…a lot of trepidation, a lot of pit in the stomach…wow what’s going to happen? Can I afford to live in my home? It is a very vast footprint. The number of people I know from all the surrounding towns…that work here, the impact would be very widespread.”
Byron’s schools can continue to cash in big too. The plant supplies about 74% of the district’s tax revenue.
“It’s the lifeblood, really, of Byron,” said Christine Lynde, School Board President of Byron District 226. “The plant significantly impacts how we are able to educate children, and the quality that we are able to provide.”
Ken Mrozek, owner of Valu Pros in Byron, has kids in the school district.
“We enjoy Byron, we love Byron, and it provides lots of services, and I know all those would be in jeopardy, as far as what would have been still here if the plant had gone, so huge sigh of relief that the plant is going to stay.” said Mrozek.
Exelon says it will move forward with refueling the Byron plant as soon as Governor Pritzker signs the clean energy plan into law.