Hospital board to hear about proposed solar farm

Brad Kellar, The Herald Banner, Greenville, Texas
·2 min read

Feb. 23—The board of the local hospital system intends to hear an update tonight on what has been proposed as the largest solar farm ever planned for Hunt County.

The Hunt Memorial Hospital District Board of Directors is scheduled to convene at 5:30 p.m. in the Homer Horton Jr. Board Room at 4215 Joe Ramsey Blvd. in Greenville. Due to COVID-19, some board members may call in to participate by telephone, though the meeting will be open to the public.

Among the action items planned is a presentation on the proposed Belltown Power Texas-Signal Ranch Solar Farm Tax Abatement.

The commissioners voted in August to approve the creation of the Hunt County Reinvestment Zone No. 9 for the estimated $50 million effort being proposed by Belltown Power Texas of Dallas.

The Hunt County Reinvestment Zone No. 10 involved an amendment to the original tax abatement agreement for the BT Signal Ranch.

The BT Signal Ranch project had originally been proposed to be built on 25 acres of the existing Signal Ranch development off of State Highway 34 in the Cash community south of Greenville.

At the time, in August 2020, Hunt County Civil Attorney Daniel Ray said he informed the Hunt County Commissioners Court that the two sides signed off on a Payment In Lieu Of Taxes, or PILOT, agreement, which would pay the county an amount equal to the amount of property taxes which would be applicable under the project.

Ray said the PILOT was adopted, rather than a straight tax abatement agreement, due to solar projects being known to have a significant reduction in taxable value after the first few years of operation.

As of October 2020, the proposed Reinvestment Zone No. 10 called for the project to cover 60 acres, to be leased by BT Signal Ranch LLC from Charley Morrison.