Abatements Fail At Commissioner’s Court Meeting

By Kris Smith
Commissioners again heard heated statements from citizens and visitors alike regarding the tax abatement debate, continued from the December 13th Navarro County Commissioner’s Court meeting. On Monday, the debate continued, and it seems there is an end in sight. After listening to opposition and those in support of the abatements, Commissioners did not grant an approval.
Prior to the meeting, Judge HM Davenport made the decision to limit the meeting to only 10 in the Commissioner’s Courtroom at a time.
Dan Guillotte, seen in opposition of Limestone Wind Projects, spoke to commissioners about a company called NG Solar. Guillotte, a resident of Ft. Worth, stated, “The application (Filed by NG Solar) is fraught with corruption. We’re not gonna take it!”
Katherine Combs, of Kerens, stated, “I want to see the eastern side of our county grow. I want to see our schools thrive, I still have children in school. A little bit of somethin’ is a whole lot better than a lot of nothing!”
Commissioner James Olsen, who has always been against a tax abatement for the solar farms, stated, “I agree that this is a private property right and everyone has the right to do what they want to do with their land. I want a clean environment also. I am not going to be complicit to a political agenda that is not what is best for the country or this county.” He continued, “It’s all about money, sometimes it is about doing what is right.”
Commissioner Eddie Moore stated, “I will mirror everything that James said, but I have more than 55 landowners who have pressed me for this. Whether it makes it through this court or not, I support those who elected me. I don’t always believe in those things, but I support the people who elected me.”
Commissioner Eddie Perry stated, “It is a very difficult decision to make.”
County Judge HM Davenport stated, “I certainly appreciate that it is a landowner’s position to make the decision for what is right for them.”
With a vote of 1-4 on each tax abatement issue, the abatements did not pass and it comes down to a decision to be made by Enel Green Solar and Fence Post Solar.
Robert Pena, Fence Post Development Manager, issued a statement, ““Enel Green Power is grateful for the support for the Fence Post Solar Project from the landowners and residents in Navarro County. While we are disappointed in the County Commissioners’ decision to deny our Chapter 312 tax abatement application, we will continue to work with appropriate parties to re-evaluate the viability of the project.”

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