“I would like to say the citizens I have talked to are certainly against this,” citizen John Cauldwell told the commissioners prior to them taking the first vote.
The property was not previously designated a reinvestment zone, which is what an area must be designated before it can be considered for a tax abatement.
After the first vote, commissioners went into closed session to deliberate regarding economic development negotiations.
Concerned citizen Georgia Irwin had several reasons the court should have not voted for the area to be designated a reinvestment zone.
“It doesn’t feel like it will benefit us,” she said. “They are coming (no matter what), we are not enticing them.”
There are several criteria for being considered a reinvestment zone including at least a $5 million investment into the county and a guarantee of 10 full-time jobs.
“The criteria is not fair to the kinds of businesses that come here, and it’s not fair to the businesses that are already here,” Irwin said.
While DCP has assured the court it will meet the minimum 10 job requirement, citizens such as Irwin and Pat Calhoun are worried the jobs won’t be for Goliad County residents. There is nothing in the requirements that states that the jobs must be for local residents.
The second vote that the commissioners took after closed session was to allow their attorney, Peter Low, to enter into negotiations with DCP Midstream.
The terms that DCP is requesting is a 10-year abatement at 70 percent, according to Gregg West, director of property tax for DCP Midstream.
Goliad County Judge David Bowman said the vote gives the attorney permission simply to enter into negotiations. Everything within the terms of the abatement is still up for discussion. Bowman said he has no idea how long the process will take.
In other news, the court approved for DCP Sand Hills Pipeline to bore under three roads. It also voted unanimously to approve a policy to regulate sexually oriented businesses.
“I had a request from a couple of citizens to address this and be ahead of the curve,” Bowman said.
Goliad County based its ordinance on the one passed in McMullen County.