Entergy donates to OC Disaster Rebuild; Court tables Chevron abatement

Published 8:45 am Wednesday, December 18, 2019

By Michael Cole

The Orange Leader

The courtroom had a festive look on Tuesday for the last meeting of 2019.

Michelle Tubbleville of Orange County Disaster Rebuild informed the court of a grant Entergy donated in the amount of $20,000.

County Tax-Assessor Collector Karen Fisher reported that the collection of taxes for November 2019 was $7,173,820.16 of which $1,530,260.46 was the county’s portion.

The Commissioner’s adopted a special local budget to deal with obligated funding for Hurricane Harvey from FEMA. 

Local government code 111.0106 requires the adoption of a special budget for grant funding available in the course of a county’s fiscal year. FEMA had granted Orange County $3 million for various projects.

The court also was set to discuss the possible tax abatement agreement with the Chevron Phillips Chemical Company and Orange County. 

Chevron is considering a $5.6 billion investment within what is called the Chevron Phillips Reinvestment Zone located on Farm to Market Road 1006. The project will consist of an ethylene cracker and at least one ethylene cracker derivative unit.

Jennifer Hill recommended that the county take no action on the abatement to Chevron.

“We have been working with this project of the last several months to work out some language that everyone is comfortable with and we are very close,” Hill said. “There are still a few more items that need to be reviewed by legal on both parts. So, we are just not quite there yet.”

“Thirty days ago, because state law required us to do so because we had hoped that we would have finalized that language between then and now, we put this on the agenda,” Hill continued. “I think at this point we are very happy with where we are. I think we have done a good job taking care of the county, making sure that our citizens and business will be well taken care of when we have a final agreement.”

Commissioner Precinct Two Theresa Beauchamp asked if this will need to be posted for another 30 days.

Orange County Judge John Gothia added, “This is a new posting requirement out of this new legislative session, it’s a little but different and we are having to learn our way through it.”