A major area solar project received approval for the issuance of the city’s industrial revenue bonds in the maximum principal amount of $11 million, pending approval of area schools that are affected by property taxes. The Roswell City Council approved the authorizing of the issuance of the IRBs in its regular business meeting Thursday evening.
A solar energy developer, Sunrise Energy Ventures New Mexico, LLC, has asked the city to issue its IRBs to finance all or part of the costs of solar electricity generation facilities and all necessary and useful equipment, which will be constructed and installed in various locations within the city. The city has no liability for the IRBs and cannot incur any costs in the issuance of the bonds. Sunrise Energy already has the funding in place to purchase the bonds.
An existing 29 rays are in place in the county. Between 20 to 23 rays, which will all be located in the city proper, are yet to be complete, Kirk Holzgrebe, of Sunrise Energy, said. The IRB’s are “issued through the city as a conduit for us to then negotiate on the property tax portion of the projects that we’re going to be building,” Holzgrebe said. Included in that, he said, are the city, the county, Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell, and the school districts of Roswell, Hagerman and Dexter. Each of these entities will receive a payment in lieu of taxes from the company.
“We’ve finished the negotiations and the bonds are ready to be issued,” Holzgrebe said. No one from the public spoke in favor or against the issuance of the bonds. The issuance now depends on the approval of the three school districts.
In other business, the council amended the city’s agreement with the Roswell Invaders baseball team. The current contract requires payment of a flat fee of $7,600 for the use of the Coca-Cola Field Joe Bauman Stadium. Due to a drop in the number of home games from 48 to 39 this year, the cost has been rendering to $5,850 for the season. Councilors also approved three separate Lodger’s Tax funding requests: $2,000 for the 29th annual Roswell Fine Arts League Juried Art Show; $2,000 for the Global Leadership Summit Simulcast to take place at Grace Community Church; and up to $1,500 for the 7th annual Alien Open Dart Tournament, with the stipulation that all receipts must be received.