As the Executive Director of the Homestead & Florida City Chamber of Commerce, I recently toured the Turkey Point nuclear power plant and got an inside look at the Florida Power & Light facility. Since it’s been part of the community for more than forty years, many of us may take Turkey Point for granted. I see Turkey Point as a critical piece of our area’s economic health, and I wanted to take a minute to share some of the main things I learned while on the tour.
· The tour was led by Turkey Point Site Vice President Mike Kiley. Throughout the tour, I was reminded about the hundreds of good, high-quality jobs that Turkey Point provides. These are the kinds of jobs that every community would want. The wages that are paid help support our local businesses, the tax revenue that is generated helps support our local schools and the employees themselves help support our housing market.
· Mr. Kiley spoke about the billions of dollars FPL has recently spent on upgrading the plant. Our tour included stop after stop where we saw new, upgraded equipment and machinery. The upgrades were important to the plant and also brought thousands of skilled workers to our area for a period of several months. This boost to the local economy was felt in restaurants, hotels, retail stores, and even dentist and medical offices.
· More than anything, a tour of Turkey Point will leave you with a lasting impression about the great lengths Turkey Point takes to be safe. Each and every employee we met along our tour was professional and dedicated to his or her job. The amount of security in place and the emphasis on safety helped all of us on the tour feel reassured that Turkey Point takes the responsibility they have very seriously.
Many of us in Homestead and Florida City are hoping that FPL will proceed with plans to expand Turkey Point, adding two new nuclear units there. Turkey Point is an important part of our economy, and more growth at the plant would only lead to more growth in our communities. The economic impact will be felt all over Miami-Dade County through direct and indirect job creation, housing and increased tax revenues for regional services.
The Homestead & Florida City Chamber of Commerce is proud to have Turkey Point as such an important part of our community.