Town of Tonawanda Unveils Economic Development Plan

Collaborative Plan Creates Pathway for Life After Huntley Coal Plan Closure

On Wednesday, June 21st at 6:30pm elected officials, representatives from community organizations, organized labor, and Town residents will come together for the official release of the Tonawanda Tomorrow economic development plan. This plan provides a pathway for the town to make up revenue loss after last year’s closure of the NRG Huntley coal burning power plant.

The company began decommissioning last year due to the fact the company couldn’t make a profit off selling power into the market.  NRG Huntley was the largest single revenue provider to the Town, providing a 6.2M payment in lieu of taxes at the time of retirement.

Over the past nine months, the Town and its community partners have been working to create this plan for growing Tonawanda’s economy after the impact of the Huntley Power Plant closing. Driven by the community, the draft plan was shaped by the voices of nearly 1,000 Tonawanda residents, business owners, and community stakeholders. Strategies the town is pursuing include encouraging expansion at current key industries in the Town, advancing redevelopment of strategic sites along the waterfront – including the Huntley site, exploring and implementing energy efficiency strategies to reduce costs, and implementing strategies to increase public access to the water. Read the plan here!

Tonawanda Tomorrow is an extension of broad coalition work that began before NRG announced the retirement.  This coalition includes local labor unions; community development and workforce development agencies; and a large base of residents who live near the plant. Recent successes include the establishment of a New York State fund to help power plant reliant communities transition. For the next 7 years, the town and school district will be able to tap into this fund to make up the revenue loss, creating significant opportunities for intentional, community driven economic development planning to take place.

The planning process for Tonawanda Tomorrow is being led by the Town of Tonawanda and coordinated by the University at Buffalo Regional Institute (UBRI), a research enterprise of the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning. Key partners include the Western New York Area Labor Federation, The Kenmore Teachers Association, the Buffalo Center for Arts and Technology, the Clean Air Coalition of Western New York, Erie County, and the Delta Institute, a Chicago-based nonprofit that helps communities transition their economy after a coal plant closes.

The event will kick off at 6:30pm in the Community Room of the Phillip Sheridan Building 3200 Elmwood Ave. Buffalo, 14217.Light snacks and refreshments will be served. Activities will be available for kids coming with their parents. Anyone interested in attending is encouraged to register in advance at

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