Board to consider amending Nacero agreement

Nacero, Inc. plans to build a natural gas processing and production facility in Penwell. The company plans to use a more environmentally-friendly process to convert natural gas to methanol, and methanol to gasoline. (Odessa American File Photo)

The Ector County ISD Board of Trustees will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the first floor board room of the administration building on an amendment to an agreement for limitation on appraised value between itself and Nacero TX 1 LLC.

The Texas Comptroller’s website said an appraised value limitation is an agreement in which a taxpayer agrees to build or install property and create jobs in exchange for a 10-year limitation on the taxable property value for school district maintenance and operations tax (M&O) purposes.

According to its website, “Nacero’s Penwell facility will convert billions of British thermal units (Btus) of renewable natural gas and associated gas from the Permian into over 1 billion gallons of SAF (sustainable aviation fuel), LCAF (Lower Carbon Aviation Fuel) and other light products annually. Using captured biogas feedstock, integrated carbon capture, and 100% renewable power will result in millions of tons of CO2 savings annually while creating thousands of clean energy jobs and adding a forecast $20 billion to the regional economy.”

The plant has an estimated cost of $7 to $10 billion.

Supplemental ECISD agenda material says the Nacero project now has been designated as a “Clean Energy Project,” which allows it to add 3 more years to its qualifying time period.

Amendment No. 2 delayed the start of the Limitation Period, which created three gap years following the end of the Qualifying Time Period (i.e., 2024, 2025, and 2026).

With the new designation as a clean energy project, the material says, these gap years can be part of the qualifying time period, provide additional time for Nacero to make the minimum $100 million qualified investment and therefore keep the agreement from terminating at the end of this year due to lack of investment.

Nacero was not able to get delivery of certain equipment and could not begin construction due to issues arising from the pandemic, the material detailed. The original application noted 258 new qualifying jobs would be created. But they can meet the minimum requirement with only 25 new qualifying jobs.

“Therefore, the company is seeking to amend the number of both new Qualifying Jobs and new Non-Qualifying Jobs to 25 and zero, respectively. Nacero still intends to have the same number of employees as originally planned, but not reaching the designated number of qualifying jobs could cause significant penalties and perhaps even cause the Agreement to be terminated by the Comptroller. To be safe, Nacero is asking to reduce the number of qualifying jobs to the statutory minimum. This practice is not uncommon among other applicants and is approved by the Comptroller. Since the Findings of Fact addressed the number of jobs when the original Agreement was approved, the Board must approve the reduction by amending the Resolution and Findings of Fact,” the material stated.

The board will have a special meeting at 10 a.m. Thursday to canvass the results of the bond election in the first floor board room of the administration building.

One of three propositions passed. The bond amount with all the propositions was $436,109,000.

Proposition A for $424,263,000 passed with 56.83 percent, or 5,557 votes for, to 43.17 percent or 4,222 votes against.

It includes a new career and technical education center in south Odessa; a new middle school in West Odessa; districtwide maintenance and repairs; bus purchases and a new transportation facility; replacement of district phone system, PA/bell/clock/fire alarm system replacements; a security camera refresh; classroom interactive flat panels; and large group instruction area audio/visual equipment.

Also, a complete renovation of the Permian High School Auditorium; replacing outdated instruments; performance risers for all middle school choirs; classroom instruments for elementary campuses; uniforms for middle school bands and mariachi; JROTC facility needs.

Complete replacement of the Transition Learning Facility for students with special needs learning to transition from school to the workforce; complete replacement of classroom buildings and barns at the Agricultural Farm.

Additionally, LED lighting at the Odessa High School baseball and tennis stadiums; LED lighting at the Permian High School baseball stadium; resurfacing of tennis stadiums at all middle schools; replacement of indoor bleachers in main gyms of all middle schools; and purchasing land for a new middle school on South Tripp Avenue.

Land for the new CTE center was donated to ECISD by Grow Odessa. The Permian Strategic Partnership also has pledged to give monetary support to the CTE center.

Proposition B, for $8,096,000, at Ratliff Stadium failed with 52.06 percent, or 5,072 votes, against and 47.94 percent or 4,670 supporting the prop.

It included concrete overlay of bleachers; update restrooms; LED lighting for stadium parking lot; LED lighting at track/field event venue; air conditioning/heating for south building locker rooms; replace one grass field with artificial turf; also includes any major maintenance needs at the stadium complex identified in Facilities Assessment report.

Proposition C, for $3,750,000, failed with 54.13 percent, or 5,269 voters voting against it and 45.87 percent, or 4,465 voting for it. It included a new indoor practice facility for Odessa High School; new artificial turf for existing indoor practice facility at Permian High School (according to the law, these indoor practice facilities must be separate bond proposals for voters to consider.)

In other business, the board will consider:

  • A request for approval of a resolution to designate additional non-business days under the Texas Public Information Act for 2023.

House Bill 3033 enacted changes in the way Texas governmental entities define “business days” in regard to calculation deadlines for Texas Public Information Act (TPIA) requests.

The update law allows the Board of Trustees to designate up to 10 additional days in each calendar year when a district’s administrative offices are closed or operating with minimal staff that may be used in calculating deadlines. Trustees must officially designate these days on an annual basis through a resolution or other official Board action.

  • Hear the annual financial report.
  • Consider Ector County Appraisal District board members.
  • Request for approval to submit a grant to the Office of the Governor for ALERRT (Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training) for ECISD Peace Officers.