County Commission awards grants, votes on tax deferrals

Published 9:33 am Wednesday, September 6, 2023

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During the bimonthly meeting of the Lowndes County Commission on Aug. 28, funding for student athletes as well as the potential for a new project within the county were the two hottest topics of discussion.

Cheerleaders from The Calhoun School appeared before commissioners to request funding which will aid them in traveling to and from school sporting events. 

In a unanimous decision, the funding request was granted. Commissioner Joshua Simmons awarded the students athletes a $1,500 grant in addition to two $500 grants awarded by Commissioner Dickson Farrior and Commissioner Joseph Barganier. These funds will be distributed amongst cheerleaders, football players, and band members at The Calhoun School. 

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A potential solar farm project was also on the table as commissioners voted on whether to allow the project sponsor a tax abatement in order to get the project off the ground. This project has been in an ongoing negotiation between commissioners and the project sponsor, and commissioners agreed on a final offer to be made during the meeting.

Thomas Ellis, President of the Lowndes County Economic Development Commission, said that the project sponsor had initially requested a 20-year tax abatement for 100% of the projects ad valorem, sales and use taxes. 

According to Commissioner Robert Harris, a vote was taken and passed to offer the project sponsor a 10-year abatement for 50% of the project’s ad valorem, sales and use taxes.

It is unclear currently whether the project sponsor intends to move forward with the project according to the commission’s counter-proposal. 

The Lowndes County Commission will meet on Sep. 7 at 6:00 p.m. to discuss budget before holding its regular bimonthly meeting on Sep. 11 at 10:00 a.m. Members of the public are welcome and encouraged to attend commission meetings.