Schleicher County Commissioners approved Monday, July 12th, the creation of a reinvestment zone for the proposed Bridgelink solar farm.

The commissioners then approved a property tax abatement for the project which is planned on the Schleicher/Tom Green County line, just west of County Road 320 (Harkey Lane).

Most of the project lies in Tom Green County with approximately 37% of it being in Schleicher County.

A public hearing was held at the beginning of the meeting. No one from the public was in attendance.

Attorney John Reddington representing Allison Bass Associates who was hired by Schleicher County to represent their interest gave some history of the project during the Public Hearing comment time.

The solar project will be a 124 megawatt AC/solar electric facility. It will be consist of 343,456 photo-voltaic panels and 33 electric inverters.

Construction on the project is set to begin in the near future with the project slated to go online no later than December of 2022.

In return for a 10-year, 70% property tax abatement, the county will receive a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) totaling $111,000 per year.

Once the 10-year term is complete, the Bridgelink solar farm will return to the tax rolls at its assessed value, which will be approximately 20-30% of the project’s initial value.

It was noted that a number of jobs will be created during construction of the solar farm, with one or two permanent jobs remaining once the project is complete.

In other business, the commissioners approved financial reports, the payroll and check registers for June, along with District Clerk and Justice of the Peace reports for June.

Sheriff Jason Chatham asked the court to accept a memorial donation of $300 from Kirk and Anita Jones. Chatham said the sheriff’s office will use the money to purchase ceremonial flags to place in the foyer of the Sheriff Office in memory of Sheriff Orval Edmiston and Deputy Jack Jones. The court accepted the memorial donation.

Erin Hernandez, representing the Concho Valley Economic Development District, and Danielle Lewis, a grant writer, introduced themselves to the commissioners. County Attorney Clint Griffin advised that he would be consulting with Hernandez and Lewis after the meeting about grant opportunities for the Schleicher County Rodeo Association.

Under new business, Judge Charlie Bradley informed the commissioners that a local juvenile has been housed in Grayson County for several months under supervision of a board that oversees juvenile offenders from Schleicher, Sterling City, Irion, Coke Counties and part of Tom Green County. So far, the cost of the detention has come to $5,950.70 and is being paid by the pool.

The commissioners also briefly discussed reinstating a the county-wide burn ban due to dry conditions. They will take up the subject again at their meeting on July 26th.