Grayson County commissioners strike down abatement for proposed Southmayd solar farm

Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 6:29 PM CST
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SOUTHMAYD, Texas (KXII) - The third time was not the charm for a solar farm hoping to receive a tax abatement from local Grayson county taxing entities.

Commissioners joined S&S Consolidated ISD and the city of Southmayd in denying abatements to the company Galactic Solar.

“We, the people, have spoken,” said Wanda Godso, a concerned resident.

Grayson County commissioner unanimously stuck down a request from Galactic Solar for a fifty percent tax abatement.

The court also declined to create a reinvestment zone for the proposed land south of Highway 56 in Southmayd after local residents voiced concern.

“I would like to see that you honor other schools and other cities that voted no,” said a resident opposing the farm.

Many of it’s opponents argued the location of the solar farm could do more harm than good to the rural environment.

“I am for clean energy and solar panels,” said Cassidy Christian, who spoke against Galactic Solar. “It’s just where they were putting it was not a good spot.”

Galactic Solar said its projected investments for the farm is $205 million, bringing $25 million to S&S Consolidated ISD over thirty years.

“It will be a huge benefit to the school district, huge benefit to the county, huge benefit to the economic development of the area,” said Garrett Peters, a tax consultant to Galactic Solar.

And the company said it would only hire one permanent employee.

“It has little to no demand on local services,” said Peters. “You’re not going to have any ambulances there, you’re not going to have fire trucks out there, you’re not going to have constant traffic driving by this project. It just sits there and collects tax and generates power.”

But to residents, a lack of employees is part of the problem.

“I just don’t think they are bringing that much benefit to Grayson County,” said Godso. “They’re not like a Finisar or a GlobiTech or some of these big companies that are coming in here bringing revenue and jobs to Grayson County.”

Plus, commissioners said the development could interfere with the future construction of Grayson County parkway.

“We are more than willing to be flexible provided that, you know, we are met evenly,” said a representative of Galactic Solar.

But being flexible was not enough for commissioners or residents to bend.

“If it’s a viable business, they can stand on their own,” said another concerned resident. “They don’t need to come to us to have us help them.”