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County to mull $20 million manure biofuel project

September 18, 2013 • Local News

County Commissioners will consider a plan at their regular meeting today to issue $20 million in revenue bonds to help a biofuels company build a pipeline to start pumping dairy manure out of the county to California.

The county would act as a go-between for the company and the dairy, allowing the investor to sell the bonds and build the facility. But by issuing the Pollution Control Revenue Bonds, the county would allow AGPower to build its site near the Three Amigos Dairy and begin a more extensive project that will ultimately include dozens of dairies in the region.

“It’s going to be a huge win for the county and specifically the dairies here that have been struggling with state environment department,” said Jessica Chaves, project manager with the Chaves County Economic Development Corporation. “For someone to come in and help relieve some of the environmental rules and regulations, it will help them tremendously.”

When the bond sale is processed through the county, the owner is not obligated to pay county taxes for a specified number of years. However, AGPower will continue to pay some taxes, Chaves said.

This project will be the first of four facilities. Each facility will employ an estimated 12-15 employees, Chaves said. And each facility will connect six to seven dairies, which will be interconnected by a pipeline. This pipeline will ultimately funnel the manure and biofuel to California, she said.

“It will take a lot of trucks off the road,” Chaves said. “It’s going to be much cleaner.”

In other action, commissioners are also expected to consider ratifying a resolution declaring a disaster as a result of last week’s flooding.

The commission will also consider imposing the new tax rates, set by the Secretary of the Department of Finance and Administration.

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