Court also approves extension for Arbala solar far
The Hopkins County’s Commissioner’s Court discussed solar farms, utilities and subdivisions, among other items of business at the regular Oct. 12 session.
The court convened at 9:02 a.m. with an opening prayer by treasurer Danny Davis.
The court then heard a request by Farmer’s Electric Co-Op to construct power structures on County Road 4730, which is located near CR 4799, as well as to construct power structures on CR 2324, which is near CR 2327.
Commissioners Joe Price, Pct. 4 and Greg Anglin, Pct. 2, who oversee each area, both stated they had “no problem” with the requests. The request was unanimously approved.
The floor was then opened to citizen comments. Pct. I Commissioner Mickey Barker spoke as a citizen and inquired if the court had heard former legendary KSST newscaster Bill Bradford on the Heritage Files program that morning. He stated he learned from the program that on Oct. 12, 1886, the first commissioner’s court was held in Old Tarrant. The court thanked Barker for marking the celebration of 134 years of commissioners courts.
SOLAR FARM & REINVESTMENT ZONE
The court then heard a request to establish a reinvestment zone for Hopkins Energy LLC. A property of 2272 proposed acres would span from approximately Sulphur Springs to Dike, according to County Judge Robert Newsom.
The solar farm company has made similar requests for reinvestment from Sulphur Springs ISD, Sulphur Bluff ISD, Hopkins County and the Hopkins County Hospital District.
The zone will go into effect in December 2021 and remain in effect for 5 years, Glenda Bassham of Hopkins County Economic Development Corporation told the court. There is an option to renew the agreement every five years, Bassham noted.
“Are they ready to start soon?” Newsom inquired.
“As far as I know, there’s nothing holding them up,” Bassham said.
The request was unanimously approved.
The court also unanimously approved an extension for Solemio LLC, an Arbala solar farm which was slated to complete construction on facilities in Dec. 2020. Solemio cited the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason for estimated slow-down in construction according to documents, Newsom said.
“They would like an additional 18 months to build,” Newsom said. This would put their timeline in June 2022, Newsom noted.
“I have no problem with it, I think we could give them 18 months,” Pct. I commissioner Mickey Barker noted.
Bassham noted that Solemio’s tax abatement does not go into effect until they complete construction of facilities.
The court then heard a request for a subdivision variance located at Private Road 4860 in Precinct 4.
Price stated he contacted property owner Joe Jennings, as well as utility company ONCOR. The property contains a natural spring which does not meet requirements of a half-acre, Price noted.
“I checked with ONCOR and with North Hopkins Water Supply, and neither of them have any problems,” Price noted.
Price stated the lot would be divided into 10-12 parcels. The request was unanimously approved.
INDIGENT DEFENSE GRANT PROGRAM
The court then heard a request from county auditor Shannah Aulsbrook to prepare a grant for the Texas Indigent Defense Commission.
According to Aulsbrook, the purpose of the grant is to provide additional funding to court-appointed attorneys on criminal cases.
“I file the report and then we could get funds back for what we paid out,” Aulsbrook noted.
The court unanimously approved the request.