BEEVILLE – College trustees delayed their decision of whether to approve a tax abatement with Pacific Wind Development, saying more time was needed to review the paperwork.
“It came a little late to my office,” said Beatriz Espinoza, Coastal Bend College president. “I didn’t get the chance to do all the research I wanted.”
Pacific Wind currently is considering a total investment of around $363 million in what is being called Project Karankawa located in Tynan and San Patricio County.
While a majority of the turbines will be in San Patricio County, $75 million of the project will be located in this county. The company projects a total of at least nine permanent employees for the entire project, in addition to an estimated 300 full-time construction jobs.
Pacific Wind, a 100 percent owned subsidiary of Avangrid Renewables, is requesting from the college:
• 100 percent abatement in 2019 during the construction term
• 100 percent abatement in 2020 through 2022
• 60 percent abatement from 2023 through 2027
The company, in information presented to trustees for their Nov. 21 meeting, will provide $25,000 within 60 days of the execution of the agreement to fund scholarships for Coastal Bend College. Additionally, the company would provide payments of $25,000 no later than Jan. 31 in each of the years 2020-2023 to fund the college’s dual enrollment endowment.
Having delayed their vote last week, the board members will likely take this up at their meeting in December.
“I like the idea,” Espinoza said of the request during the last meeting. “I certainly will look at the recommendation a little further.”
The county recently approved a tax abatement for the wind farm as did Skidmore-Tynan school board trustees.
The county’s abatement calls for a 60 percent abatement each year for 10 years. The county is also receiving a $40,000 up front payment.
Like Skidmore-Tynan ISD, the abatement doesn’t affect what is known as the interest and sinking fund – the tax amount used to repay outstanding debt such as bonds or certificates of obligation which the county issued to build the new jail.
According to Pacific Wind’s abatement application, the exact number, size and location of each wind turbine has not yet been determined.
The entire project, as currently proposed, is estimated to consist of 17,500 acres and 115 turbines.
Bee County is expected to receive between 40 to 75 of the wind turbines in the Tynan area. All turbines are being built on private property.
San Patricio County, more specifically Mathis, will receive the remaining portion of the construction.
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