Three FirstEnergy power plants expected to close in September will now remain open until 2015

EASTLAKE, OHIO - Three local power plants set to close in September will stay open for another three years. Workers at the plants located in Cleveland, Ashtabula and Eastlake were told three months ago that they would be out of a job by the end of the year.

FirstEnergy announced Wednesday that it will keep open three older power plants in northeast Ohio until April 2015. The company is delaying the closings so that it can make nearly $1 billion in upgrades to its transmission lines. FirstEnergy said it still plans to close the coal units at the three plants once the work is done.

Regardless, this is big news for the city of Eastlake. Mayor Ted Andrzejewski said the city collects $600,000 per year in tax revenue from the power plant.

"I know it's only until 2015, but everything helps. Especially with FirstEnergy being one of our largest, if not the largest, the second largest employer in the city," he said.

Mayor Andrzejewski employs about 140 workers in Eastlake. He said they are well-paying jobs, averaging between $70,000 and $80,000 per year.

But he said about 40 percent of the workers at the Eastlake plant will lose their jobs. A spokesperson for FirstEnergy, though, said the company is still working on the exact numbers.

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