Digital Access

Digital Access
Access saukvalley.com and all Shaw Local content from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, Daily including the e-Edition or e-Edition only.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, prep sports scores, school closings, weather, and more. Text alerts are a free service from SaukValley.com, but text rates may apply.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Sign up for free e-newsletters today.
Premium

Byron station response committee established to save nuclear plant

BYRON – A group of Ogle County organization representatives won’t be taking the Byron nuclear plant’s planned closure lying down.

Recently announced was the formation of the Byron Station Response Committee, which plans to develop a “collaborative, broad-based response” to Exelon's announcement of its intent to close Byron Station in September 2021.

Byron School District Superintendent Buster Barton, who seems to be in a leadership position with the committee, said the idea to form it came from the community after the number of people that reached out following the closure announcement. Barton’s district received just over $19.1 million taxes from the plant last year.

“It just goes to show you how much our community cares about our school district and how important the power plant is to our funding,” Barton said in a press release. “We think this committee will help identify and mobilize groups that can spread our message that the power plant should be kept open.”

The committee’s first meeting was convened Sept. 10 by the Byron School Board. Christine Lynde, president of that board, touted the importance of the plant to the region as a whole and said the impact of it closing is a lot larger than “one would initially think.

The group said it’s aware that the solution will involve legislative action and will require broad-based support and far-reaching plans until the end of the legislative session in May 2021. “We need to start small in our own local communities to share information, and build an understanding to extend our network and message to the surrounding communities, and indeed all of Illinois,” Byron Mayor John Rickard said.

The group, whose members were not listed in the press release, said it has identified key stakeholders, worked to craft messages and developed a rough timeline for people to engage with the cause.

Barton said in the press release he hopes to get out a “consistent, accurate” message to educate supporters until the veto session in November so supporters will know how to contact their legislators when the time comes.

It is the group’s hope that when the spring legislative session begins, there will be a bill prepared to save Illinois nuclear power that can prevent Byron Station from closing.

“It is going to take dedication and stamina, and a bit of patience in order to bring this to the finish line successfully,” Lynde said in the press release.

The group plans to have a Facebook page for future announcements. Anyone interested in supporting the cause should contact Barton.

Loading more