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Wind energy project approved with 4-3 vote
By Dakota McDonal—
The Post ISD School Board approved the wind energy project on Antelope Flats in a 4-3 vote.
The project, which is scheduled to begin in 2024, is required to bring a minimum of four jobs into the community. Additionally, the company, which is out of Denmark, has a $20 million tax abatement, meaning the company will only have to pay a maximum of $20 million in yearly taxes.
The wind energy project will be the only entity in Garza County that will receive a tax break, said board member Drew Kirkpatrick, who also said the project does not bring enough job opportunities into the county.
Opposing Kirkpatrick, board member Milton Williams said the project would provide financial help for the school.
Board member Tim James agreed with Williams, stating that the project would not only help the school but also some landowners as well. James additionally informed the board that it would reduce taxes.
Superintendent Heath Dickson stated that the project would more than double property values for the school district.
Board member Jett Lott suggested approving the limitation on taxes would cheat the students out of money that could go toward the betterment of the school. Lott also stated that he did not believe that pushing the contract would cause the wind turbine company to back out completely.
With unprecedented times on the horizon and oil wells being shut down, board member Joe Don Schoonover said the board should take what they can get, explaining that under different circumstances he might feel differently.
Board member Nancy McDonald proposed holding off on the vote so that the county might have greater bargaining power. McDonald recommended approving the contract on the school’s timeline rather than the wind turbine company’s timeline as the project would not break ground until 2024.
However, the motion carried with a 4 to 3 vote with board members Mike Holly, Williams, James and Schoonover voting in favor of the motion; Kirkpatrick, Lott and McDonald voted against.
In other business, the board approved the purchase of 2.47 acres of land behind the Post Beverage Barn located on East U.S. Highway 380. The land, which cost $38,000, is to be used as an agriculture farm for Post ISD.
The board also accepted the gift of the former Allsups Convenience Store located on west eighth street from Mark Allsups. Dickson informed the board that the building is to be used for the life skills students.
The board approved changing meeting to 7 p.m. McDonald suggested that they be moved to Mondays as opposed to Tuesdays. They board will vote on it at the next meeting.
The next regular meeting will be held at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 8.