When steam rises from cooling towers at the Byron Nuclear Plant, electricity and money are being made, money for Exelon, and money for the Byron school district.
But the amount of money the district receives is dependent upon the value of the plant. The schools will see over $2 million more than they did last year because of a new assessment, but according to the Superintendent of Schools Margaret Fostiak, they would have liked to see more.
“There are a number of cuts that have transpired in the past. We do not expect to restore those cuts as a result of these dollars.”
Instead the money could be spent on keeping text books in lockers, computers in technology labs and teachers in classrooms. Both the county, who is responsible for taxing the plant, and Exelon itself, would like to agree on one dollar amount and lock it in. That way everyone knows how much they will get for several years.
Until both sides can sit down and come to a long-term agreement that the nuclear plant will have to be reassessed every single year; inevitably, someone won’t be happy. Last year it was the school, a few weeks ago it was Exelon, and as of today neither of them know if they will appeal.
The plant will pay 2.2 million more dollars than last year to the schools because of the assessment, and $3 million more because of the most recent referendum.