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Perrin school trustees approve Keechi wind farm project

Perrin school board trustees heard explanations about the Keechi Creek Wind project Tuesday, which is Proposed 313 agreement constructing a total of 120 megawatts, with 10 turbines (30 megawatts) installed in Perrin district, and 30 turbines, (90 megawatts) in Jacksboro. Attorney Dan Casey summarized the overall process of the district beginning at the current stage of agreeing to pursue the project, applying, receiving approval from the Attorney General or receiving reasons not recommended, and then construction. Original plans proposed in 2009, which were familiar to some board members, showed turbines more east and south than current plans. Casey explained new legislation which would allow supplemental payments to the district with a minimum of $50,000 per year, appearing as a donation to the district with no state-aid penalty. Superintendent John Kuhn recommended the board approve the change to local district Policy CCG from one sentence to 11 pages, a policy guiding the board through the process from filing to agreement. The board unanimously voted to adopt the change to local policy and retain Moak Casey Law Firm, the foremost legal team in Texas in these matters, to assist in the process. After the 2-year qualification period during which taxes on the full market value of the wind farm is paid into the I&S fund (Interest and Sinking) for the district, a progressive calculation formula is paid to the district until the 8th year, in which taxes are paid to the M&O (Maintenance and Operation) fund of the district on approximately $20 billion taxable value of the wind farm. Taxes are the major operating expense of wind farm projects. Kuhn explained to the board that Bryson had gone through the process twice, helping fund much of the new construction there and that he felt this was potentially a good way to fund improvements and possibly even new schools in Perrin with reduced tax increases to the resident. The board agreed. In other business, the trustees voted to award a bid for furnishing and installing a wastewater treament plant and a wastewater collection system, which totalled $250,000, paid out of the accumulated $1.4 million fund balance account of the district. Kuhn explained that the bleachers and press box were almost complete as the last $200,000 paid with the bond project funds. Three Certificates of Deposits owned by the district will be moved to money market accounts increasing the return from .3 percent now to 1 percent after moving. Principals spoke of academic improvement in benchmark testing in all grade levels, with enrollment holding steady.