With the closing of Plant Hammond on the horizon, local schools systems are beginning to weigh their options as the plant’s exit will take with it millions of dollars in tax revenue.
The system facing the biggest budgetary loss out of the two local public schools will be Floyd County Schools who are looking at a $2.5 million to $3.5 million loss, according to Superintendent Jeff Wilson. At the moment it is unclear if that amount will be all at once or over a period of time he said.
The board of education was briefed by Wilson during Monday night’s caucus and was made aware that the system’s budget would be affected by the decision to close the plant.
“We don't know that anyone will buy that land,” Wilson said in a phone interview Friday. “We are looking at every option, and sharing different options with the board.”
Wilson also wanted to say Georgia Power has been a good partner with the school system, and he understands they had to make a business decision regarding the power plant.
Rome City Schools Superintendent Lou Byars said their system is aware of the situation and are monitoring how it may affect the schools. He is not sure the impact would be as significant since most of the public utility is in the county instead of the city.
“What we may lose we will pick up in growth in other areas,” Byars said.
"There's no way to replace that (tax revenue)" said Floyd County Tax Commissioner Kevin Payne in a previous interview with Rome News- Tribune. "They are our largest taxpayer and there's nobody close."
Georgia Power filed its 2019 Integrated Resource Plan with the Georgia Public Service Commission on Jan. 31. The closing of Plant Hammond was a part of the IRP and there has been no final closing date released as of yet.