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CHICAGO - Mayor Emanuel today announced a comprehensive plan to begin the redevelopment of the Fisk power plant, owned by Midwest Generation. Midwest Generation announced last week that they would retire the plant by the end of the year.
“Closing these plants is a first step, but the key is to make sure these facilities are used to spur economic development and job creation for these neighborhoods,” said Mayor Emanuel.
Today’s announcement, which came as Mayor Emanuel and Mayor Bloomberg of New York City visited the Fisk plant, contains three elements.
First, an advisory group will be assembled to assess the site, solicit community input, and develop economic development and job creation options for the land. The group will consist of three community members, one member from Midwest Generation, the alderman, one representative from labor, and two economic development representatives from City Hall.
Second, the Delta Institute, a local non-profit with experience leading brownfield redevelopment visioning efforts, will join as independent facilitators of the group and be responsible for the final report. Finally, the Joyce Foundation and Sierra Club have each committed up to $50,000 to fund the process.
“The Joyce Foundation is committed to helping create a cleaner energy system in Chicago and throughout the Midwest,” said Ellen Alberding, President of the Joyce Foundation. “More than a decade ago, we supported work to document the community benefits that would result from closing the Fisk and Crawford coal plants. We are pleased now to be able to support a process to plan how the two sites may become true community assets.”
"We applaud Mayor Emanuel for his commitment to repowering Chicago and creating something that benefits the families of the city," said Michael Brune, Executive Director of the Sierra Club. "The Sierra Club is proud to continue working with the community and with Mayor Emanuel to look at new uses for these sites that improve quality of life and create economic opportunity."
Midwest Generation applauded the Mayor’s efforts.
“We appreciate that Mayor Emanuel created a forum for constructive discussions to address community concerns, and we hope to build on that foundation to work with the city and other parties to create a vision for the future and identify the means for turning it into a reality," said Douglas McFarlan, president of Midwest Generation.
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