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Kerens ISD considers tax break for solar facility

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KERENS–The Kerens ISD school board voted Jan. 25 to allow Superintendent Martin Brumit to review an application for a value limitation agreement for a solar project planned within the district that would limit property tax collection for 10 years.
The $193 million Fence Post Solar Project, to be situated south of Powell near Richland-Chambers Lake, is expected to be on the tax rolls by 2023. The tax limitation applies only to the maintenance and operations (M&O) portion of the district’s tax rate, the difference of which would come out of state coffers.
Robert Pena of Enel Green Power North America Inc. told the school board that the agreement would mean no out-of-pocket expenses for the local community.
If the superintendent finds the application to be complete, the board empowered him to submit it to the state comptroller. Brumit also can approve any request to extend the deadline for action by the school board beyond the 150-day review period.
To help guide Kerens ISD through the process, the school board also voted to hire the law firm of Sara Leon & Associates, along with a financial consultant, Jigsaw School Finance Solutions. Leon told the board that the property tax realized from the project could help pay down school construction debt, for instance.
In other business, trustees:
• Voted to call a general board election May 4 to fill the expiring terms of Shane Hill and Teresa Jennings. 
• Voted to make two construction bond-related payments of $396,200 and $348,050.
• Voted to extend Superintendent Brumit’s contract through 2026, along with increasing his salary starting next year. 
• Approved the hiring of a new elementary school teacher. 
• Approved the 2020-21 District Improvement Plan, as well as its School Board Goals.

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