Navarro County Commissioners Court unanimously approved the creation of a Reinvestment Zone and subsequent tax abatement encompassing more than 3,000 acres in Navarro County following a public hearing at its Mon., April 22 meeting.
Economic Development Director John Boswell explained that the reinvestment zone will span approximately 2,241 acres, including land previously approved by Commissioners in October of 2018, in addition to 885 acres to offer financial incentives for the Clean Vision Solar Project.
Boswell told Commissioners that the $120 million project would receive a 10-year tax abatement on a declining scale. After that time, Clean Vision Solar, LLC must maintain 20 percent of the value, which Boswell projects will be $24 million through the year 2045.
Sam Moore, of K.E. Andrews Property Consultants, represented Clean Vision during the meeting and explained that the project would lease the land. Moore detailed the company's reclamation clause which stipulates that the land leased will be returned to its original condition at the end of the agreement. He explained that substations, easements, and transmission lines associated with the project will be located within the designated parcel of land.
Governed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, solar farms like this one are subject to rigorous permitting, surveying, and state-imposed regulations on health and safety and environmental impact.
Navarro County citizen, Jackie King questioned the ramifications of the project at the beginning of the meeting and again during the public hearing. King spoke about similar facilities in neighboring areas, questioning the government regulations involved and the potential benefits and disadvantages of solar farms.
The reinvestment zone will be located along Highway 22, within the taxing jurisdictions of the Blooming Grove and Corsicana School Districts and Navarro College. With Commissioners approval, the project is on track to be in service by 2021.
In other business, Commissioners renewed the Xerox Leasing Agreement for their office. County Auditor Terri Gillen shared that the new and improved contract reduces the monthly cost. Also approved was Law Enforcement Liability Insurance which covers the Sheriff, Constables, District Attorney, and Juvenile Probation Offices.
Commissioner Pct. 3, Eddie Moore, provided an explanation for the amended contract for Pursley Volunteer Fire Department. Commissioner Moore said that when Pursley absorbed Purdon Fire Department, they sold one of their six trucks to reduce payroll costs. The amended contract was approved by unanimous vote.
Commissioners held two executive sessions; the first to discuss economic development, and the second regarding real property, with no action on either upon return to open session.