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 40 years, many of us may take Turkey Point for granted.
However, I see it as a critical piece of our area’s economic health, and I wanted 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. I was reminded about the hundreds of good, high-quality jobs that Turkey Point provides. These are the kinds of jobs that every community wants. 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.
Kiley spoke about the billions of dollars that FPL has spent on upgrading the plant. Our tour included stops 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 in dentist and medical offices.
More than anything, the tour left us with a lasting impression about the great lengths Turkey Point takes to be safe. Each and every employee we met was professional and dedicated to the 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 the facility, 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.
Rosa Brito, executive director, Homestead/Florida City
Chamber of Commerce, Homestead