Mt. Tom plant closing to cost jobs, tax revenue

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Twenty-eight people will soon be out of a job, as Holyoke’s Mt. Tom coal plant will be shutting down soon.

The owners of the plant on Route 5 announced they will cease operations in the fall, due to the declining economics for a facility of its kind.

They are encouraging their employees to apply for other positions within the parent company, GDF SUEZ Energy North America.

Meanwhile, Holyoke city officials are wondering how to make up the loss of tax revenue this will mean.

“It’s a good sized hit for a single taxpayer,” City Treasurer Jon Lumbra said. “If it were spread out over 10-20 properties, we’d be able to absorb it a little better, but to take a single hit of a million dollars, we’ll have to find areas to make that up.”

Operations will officially end in October.

Massachusetts has been looking to move away from coal power plants in recent years, and the state is now more dependent on electricity coming from natural gas and renewable sources of energy.

The shutdown of the Holyoke plant, in addition to other plant closings across the state in recent years, will make Massachusetts the first state to retire all of its coal plants.

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