- Associated Press - Saturday, November 17, 2018

VERNON, Vt. (AP) - Residents of the town Vernon are coming to terms with a future without Vermont Yankee. They’re also thinking about what to do with the space once the nuclear power plant is gone.

The town is working with the decommissioning company, Northstar Services, to figure out how to utilize the 100 acres around the plant. The process of razing the plant will begin next year, and could take as little as 10 years, if the state approves the pending sale.

Officials are trying to create a vision for Vernon. Vermont Public Radio reports one of the ideas is developing a village center.

Patty O’Donnell, a former Vernon state representative, says it has taken time to rethink the future after the plant closed in December 2014.

“You know when you wake up one day and your whole world has changed, it’s an adjustment,” said O’Donnell. “It takes a little while to try to figure out what direction you’re going to go. And we’re on our way to a new future.”

Vernon fully supports the proposed sale of the nuclear power plant, once an economic driver for the community. State regulators are expected to make a decision on the sale soon.

Local officials, meanwhile, say they’re in no rush to adopt a plan. Vernon Selectboard Chairman Josh Unruh said officials want to make sure it’s done right.

“Decommissioning is totally new and we wanted to make sure that everything that was happening throughout this process was going to be what was best for Vernon,” he said.

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