Commissioners to hold public hearing, solar vote at Adams Street Community Center

Steve Nash
Brownwood Bulletin
Solar energy

Brown County Commissioners Court members will have their 9 a.m. Monday meeting at the Adams Street Community Center in anticipation of a large crowd in attendance.

According to the meeting agenda, commissioners will conduct a public hearing, then take a vote on a tax abatement agreement with IP Radian for a proposed solar farm project near Brookesmith.

"It was clear from the regular meetings, where we didn't have this on the agenda, that it was standing room only," Brown County Judge Paul Lilly said, referring to the citizens' comments portions of earlier commissioners court meetings.

"We wanted a place that seated 100 or more comfortably."

Lilly, who has stated that he does not support a tax abatement, said he has several questions for IP Radian, including who owns the controlling interest in the company and whether the controlling interest is owned by a domestic or an international person or company.

Lilly said he wants to know how much in federal and state funds IP Radian received in tax abatements or tax credits in the past 10 years, specifically over the past 36 months.

Lilly also said he wants to know if IP Radian will "guarantee in writing to the county the funds they have estimated they will pay to the county, guaranteeing the funds as the minimum that they will pay to the county, rather than just estimates, regardless of  circumstances." 

It's "not that I am against solar. I'm against abatements, period. What a person does with their property is their own business. Just don't ask the government to invest in it," Lilly said.