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The Navarro County Commissioners approved a tax abatement Monday for Armadillo Solar Center, which plans to construct a 200 megawatt solar farm across 2,300 acres about a mile north of Mildred High School on Hwy. 287.

Armadillo Solar Center representative Victoria Alexander spoke to Commissioners prior to their decision.

“We work with landowners throughout Texas who benefit from land lease income, supporting their livelihoods,” she said. “We are honored to work with local landowners.”

Peggy Herod and her family were among the local landowners in attendance set to benefit from the project.

“Our family has had our roots in Navarro County since the late 1800s. We are proud of our past,” she said. “Now, we feel that it is important for us to have an eye on the future. We are grateful for the opportunity to be a part of helping to make our local schools, our country, our state and our world a better place to live.”

Commissioners Court unanimously approved the creation of the Armadillo Solar Center Reinvestment Zone in June, which includes connected properties under lease from six property owners within the Mildred Independent School District.

According to its website, Armadillo Solar Center will use over 600,000 solar panels to generate more than 440,000 megawatt hours of energy annually, or enough energy to power almost 42,500 homes.

Construction of the solar farm is on track to begin in 2022, with energy production expected to go online the following year.

During construction, the company plans to employ 200 to 300 workers, promoting job creation and hiring locally whenever possible, while continuing to generate indirect tax benefits throughout the area.

The company also plans to provide educational programs to local school districts and community colleges and is seeking opportunities to support STEM education at Mildred ISD and introduce wind and solar technician training programs with Navarro College.

Commissioners also approved approving a specific use permit to create a tiny home “Park Model” resort for the placement of 13 cabins, leasing office, and one storage building for Warren & Kelly Walker.

Tax Assessor/Collector Mike Dowd said that even though his office is still closed to the public, he has still been able to successfully collect taxes by mail and online.

“Mail is a quicker turnaround and will only cost you a stamp,” Dowd said. “Pay your taxes with a check or money order and we will send back a receipt. If you use the online system there is a surcharge and it could take a little longer as it is through a third party.”

The address to send tax payments is: P.O. Box 1070, Corsicana, TX 75151.

Additional items items on Monday's Commissioners Court agenda included:

• No action on burn ban: There is no burn ban in effect at this time. Commissioners urge caution

• Declared one shredder as salvage for auditors

• No action on a Zoning District change on Lot 19, Flowers Point, from Private Park & Boat Ramp to residential waterfront for Pride Through Excellence Education, Inc.

• Approved a zoning district change from agricultural to industrial for Armadillo Solar Center, LLC parcel ID No. 42934

• Approved an interlocal agreement between the city of Emhouse and Navarro County under the provision of the Interlocal Cooperation Act, Texas Government Code, Chapter 791, for the regulation of subdivisions within the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the city of Emhouse

• Approved Tax Collection Report for October 2020, Mike Dowd

• Declared the listed Navarro County Sheriff's vehicle as surplus

• Approved the 2020-2021 Interlocal Agreement with Rice ISD for transport of mental and juvenile detainees

• Approved the 2020-2021 Interlocal Agreement with Blooming Grove ISD for transport of mental and juvenile detainees

• Approved Winkler Water Supply Corporation to cross SE CR 2359, Pct. 3

• Approved to amend the Equal Employment Opportunity and Harassment sections of the Navarro County Personnel Manual to be in compliance with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in regard to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include sexual orientate and transgender status

• Approved an amended contract with Tyler Technologies for two pen pads

• Executive session pursuant to Texas Government Code Section 551.076 to discuss security

• Consideration of action taken on Executive Session pursuant to the Texas Government Code 551.076 to discuss security

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Megan Hempel contributed to this report.

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