The Schleicher County Hospital District board of trustees met in special session Monday evening, July 12th, and voted unanimously to grant a partial tax abatement to a solar farm proposed in the north part of the county.

Following the lead of the Schleicher County Commissioners Court, the hospital trustees adopted the same reinvestment zone the commissioners voted to adopt earlier in the day.

The proposed solar farm will straddle the Schleicher/Tom Green County line, with most of the project planned on the Tom Green side of the line.

For their part, the hospital trustees voted to grant a 70% property tax abatement, but only for the portion of the tax levy that applies to the hospital district’s maintenance and operation budget. They opted to grant no abatement on the “interest and sinking” or debt service portion of the tax levy.

In return, the hospital district will receive a one time payment of $25,000, if and when construction begins, and an annual PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) of $583 per megawatt, approximately $70,000, for a period of 10 years.
After the 10-year term, the project will return to the tax rolls at its appraised value.

Bridgelink will also reimburse the hospital district for the expenses it incurred in creating the reinvestment zone, and the legal fees paid to Allison Bass & Associates of Austin.

Attorney John Reddington was on hand for the meeting. So was Mike Fry, the director of energy services for KEAndrews, a consulting firm that represents the Bridgelink solar farm.

In other business, the trustees heard from accountant Rick Alexander, representing EideBailly, who presented the district’s annual audit report.

Alexander explained that the district’s financial position had improved by slightly more than $525,000 during 2020 and noted efforts to collect on past due accounts while control expenses even during the height of the COVID-19 crisis.

Board president Randy Mankin said that the audit report was one of the best that he had seen in several years. He then thanked Nursing Home
Administrator Pam Stokes and Business Manager Staci Chatham for their efforts on behalf of the district.

Before adjourning, Mankin appointed T.J. Rodriguez and Sandra Robledo to serve along with him on the district’s budget committee in preparation for the 2022 budget.

Mankin chaired Monday night’s meeting with trustees T.J. Rodriguez, Susie Richters, Chuck Jones and Telesforo Martinez in attendance. Trustees Denese Capps and Sandra Robledo were absent.

The next meeting of the Schleicher County Hospital District board of trustees is slated for 6 p.m. on Monday, July 26th in the board room at Schleicher County Medical Center.