A proposed solar farm on the Schleicher/Tom Green County line was on the agenda for Monday night’s meeting of the Schleicher County ISD board of trustees.

Mike Fry, representing KE Andrews Tax Valuation Consultants, and Daniel T. Casey, a partner in the school finance firm of Moak, Casey and Associates, were on hand for the meeting. The men asked the trustees to consider the possibility of entering into a “Chapter 313 Tax Value Limitation Agreement,” perhaps better known as a tax abatement.

The proposed solar farm is identified as Bridgelink Cave Springs LLC is planned on the Schleicher/Tom Green County line. Some 37% of the project lies in the northeast part of Schleicher County, just west of County Road 320 (Harkey Lane).

The trustees voted to hire Moak, Casey and Associates along with the law firm of O’Hanlon, Demerath & Castillo to act as consultants on behalf of SCISD.

Superintendent Robert Gibson noted that the district received a $75,000 payment from the proposed wind farm, with SCISD retaining $25,000 of that amount and the remaining $50,000 being used in equal parts to hire the two consulting firms.

There are several more hoops to jump through before the wind farm project becomes a reality. The first of those involves the State Comptroller’s office approving the project as one that would qualify under the state’s Chapter 313 program. If and when the project moves ahead, and if a tax abatement deal is approved by the school trustees, SCISD could receive a lump sum payment of about $1.5 million with an additional $50,000 per year for the next 10-15 years.

Fry indicated he is interested in pursuing an abatement deal with Schleicher County and the Schleicher County Hospital District.
In other business, the trustees voted to formally hire Robert Gibson, as SCISD superintendent of schools. He was hired as interim superintendent on March 16, 2020, to fill in after his son, Robert Gibson, Jr., left SCISD to become superintendent at Idalou. Gibson was named the lone finalist for the superintendent’s job on January 11th.

The trustees also extended the contracts of EHS Principal Perry Graves, EMS Principal Ezra Walling, EES Principal Michael Rudewick, Athletic Director Jon Long, Technology Director J.D. Doyle and Business Manager Ray Ballew. Each of them have two-year contracts.

One-year contracts were also extended for Advance Academics Director Sharon Spinks, Maintenance Director Oscar Martinez, Food Service Director Vikki Cathey and Transportation Director Joey Jones.

Among other business the trustees learned that the district enrollment was 507 on January 29th, They reviewed and approved the minutes of their January 11th meeting, and agreed to attend Team of 8 training at Education Service Center XV on February 23rd.

Board President Kriss Griffin presided over Monday night’s meeting with Trustees Lupe Sanchez, Holly Griffin, Melissa Rodriguez, and Fidel Herrera in attendance. Trustees Glyn Hutto and Kurtis Homer were absent.

The next meeting of the SCISD trustees is slated for 6 p.m. on Monday, March 8, 2021, in the SCISD board room.