Young County One Step Closer to Wind Farm

Folks in Young County could soon see wind turbines popping up in big numbers. Commissioners approved a new tax abatement deal with Trinity Hills Wind Farm LLC Monday.

The unanimous decision will give Trinity Hills, a subsidiary of BP, 10 years with no property tax payments to the county. Instead, the county will receive payment in lieu of tax that will be at least $62,500 a year.

The figure could go higher depending on the number of towers that will actually go up in Young County. The wind farm will be spread out across Archer and Young Counties.

The deal won't cost the county any money. The payment in lieu of tax will be above what property owners are already paying the county in taxes. There is also financial benefit for the Olney ISD and Hamilton Hospital as they both fall within the reinvestment zone for the project.

At the end of 10 years, Trinity Hills will pay the full property tax value on the wind farm. "The value of that would be a tremendous amount," said Young County Commissioner for Precinct 4 Jimmy Wiley, "because each one of those towers is up in the millions of dollars."

Wiley said Trinity Hills is expecting to hire six full-time employees for the wind farm. And, around 150 workers, perhaps some from within the county, will be employed during the construction phase of the project. Wiley said the presence of workers spending money on food, fuel and housing will also be a boon to the local economy.

Construction on the wind farm is expected to begin April 1.

Tim Barnosky, Newschannel 6.