The coal fired Brayton Point power plant may fire no more. The owner now plans to shut it down in 2017. Town leaders in Somerset say they knew this might becoming, but the loss in tax revenue could be severe.
Don Setters, Chairman, Somerset Selectmen, said, "Somerset has a about a 63 million dollar operating budget and this closure represents about a 20 percent loss in operating revenue, much needed operating revenue."
ABC6 Chief Political reporter Mark Curtis said, "If the Brayton Point plant shuts down, cuts to city services could be severe. Among the first things on the chopping block, could be parks and recreation."
The town may also have to look at cuts to public safety and education, and some jobs may be consolidated. Homeowners are bracing for the possibility their taxes will go up.
John Barboza, a Somerset Resident said, "People have a small income and they are going to suffer more. They have to pay more."
But some people are happy. For years Brayton Point has been protested by environmentalists who long believed it should be shut down.
David Deon, from the Coalition for Clean Air South Coast said, "The health effects from burning coal are very serious. The people of the region are very much affected, by particularly Brayton Point. It's the largest, most polluting power plant east of the Mississippi River."
For now Brayton Point remains the largest coal fired plant in New England, and no one has said how all of its power will be replaced.