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Marfa School Board Approves Tax Abatements for Solar Projects

Two new solar plants are one step closer to construction in Presidio County.

Last night (Monday, April 21), the Marfa ISD School Board voted 4-1 to approve partial property tax abatements for two electricity generators. The Alpine 1 Solar project would be located near Paisano Pass, and Solar Star Texas II would build a plant just east of Marfa.

Both firms agreed to pay the school the maximum allowed supplemental payment of $100 per student per year, which means each firm would pay the school about $32,000 each year for the next ten years.

Marfa ISD Superintendent Andrew Peters says he's still not sure the plants will actually be built, saying it will likely depend on market conditions.

"This does not mean that Marfa ISD will always vote for tax abatements," Peters tells KRTS. "We will look at each project individually on its merits."

Meanwhile, Presidio County Commissioners will be discussing separate tax abatements from the county for the two projects at a meeting in Presidio this evening (Tuesday, April 22.) The abatements are on the commissioners' agenda for "discussion with action as appropriate."

In other news, the school district is moving ahead on the construction of a new industrial arts facility. Next year, the Marfa Studio of the Arts is taking up residency in the Marfa elementary school. The school is also in negotiations with the Big Bend Hospital District to house a new social worker for the count, and the school confirmed a summer bridge program for Marfa 8th graders at UTPB in Odessa.

Travis Bubenik is All Things Considered Host and Big Bend Reporter at Marfa Public Radio.