The Navarro College Board of Trustees declined to offer tax abatements to Clean Vision Solar, LLC at its regular May meeting. The motion died for lack of a second, after board members raised questions about the number of jobs created when the project was completed, and the long term benefit to the County.
The issue, which first came in front of the Navarro College Board in November, was tabled in April, after Clean Vision Solar asked for an additional 885 acres be included in the reinvestment zone. The project would have totaled 2,241 acres over eleven tracts of land. The proposed reinvestment zone will be located along Highway 22, within the taxing jurisdictions of the Blooming Grove and Corsicana School Districts and Navarro College.
During discussion Board Member Todd McGraw said he’d never seen a company ask for tax abatements when they are only bringing two full-time jobs. A representative for the project said that Clean Vision Solar, LLC is rather laissez-faire.
“They expect to hire someone to mow the grass and turn the system on,” said Sam Moore who represented Clean Vision Solar, LLC at Thursday’s meeting.
Navarro County Economic Director John Boswell who was also at the meeting has said that this project is considered more of a capital investment than a job creator.
It was anticipated that Clean Vision Solar, LLC would hire 300 workers as part of the $120 million project with additional workers throughout the life of the project.
The Board’s decision may put the project’s future in doubt, according to Moore.
“We’re not here to help investors make money,” said K.C. Wyatt, Navarro College Board member, “If they want to do the project they will.”
Other agenda items included the swearing in of board members who were successful in their re-election bids following the May 2019 municipal election.
Faith Holt, and Loran Seely, each ran unopposed. Todd McGraw’s race was contested but McGraw was re-elected to a seat he has held since 2001. Seely, Holt and McGraw were sworn into office by Judge H.M. Davenport, each will serve a six-year term ending in May 2025.
The Board approved that Phil Judson will continue as Chairman, Todd McGraw will again serve as Vice Chairman and Richard Aldama was reappointed as the Board’s Secretary/Treasurer.
The Board approved a request from the Navarro County Appraisal District to acquire education building 248, from the city of Corsicana. The city purchased the property located at 4000 W. Second Ave. in Corsicana for $1.4 million in May 2018.
The building, which will be used as additional office space, is part of the larger development the Corsicana City Council plans for the former Texas Youth Commission facility. Building 248 will require renovation, a cost which will be shared among the taxing units.
The College is preparing for the annual audit approving a three-year contract with a fourth year option to Whitley Penn, LLC to conduct state required annual audits. Whitley Penn conducted the audit last year and was one of four companies that returned a bid.
The audit consists of field work and multiple visits.
The Board heard and approved all regular business including financial and enrollment reports.
They went into closed session pursuant to Government codes 551.072 and 551.074 to discuss real property and personnel matters. No action was taken.
The next meeting of the Navarro College Board will be June 27, in the Bulldog Board Room, formerly known as the Lone Star Room on the Corsicana Campus at W. 3200 Seventh Ave. in Corsicana. A budget workshop scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. will precede the Board meeting.