Discussing and acting on the formal steps to consider pursuing a possible relationship with Renewable Energy Systems (RES), the Brady Independent School District board of trustees voted last week to proceed with hiring a consultant to develop the best case scenario for the district. During its regularly scheduled meeting, the board first voted to formally pursue the project. They next set a project cost of $60,000, which will be used to pay for the cost of hiring a consultant. The firm the board recommend was Moak and Casey, an independent consulting firm specializing in school finance. According to Supt. Steve McCarn, Moak and Casey is the same firm that has been handling most of the transactions between school districts and wind energy projects that have been done across the state. With the first steps formally voted on and approved, the next steps will be for Moak and Casey to determine the best possible scenario and negotiating that with RES to possibly bring the Rattlesnake Wind Energy project to McCulloch County. The proposed wind farm project would bring about 100 turbines to property in McCulloch County with an estimated $350 million taxable value added to the current tax base. Part of the plan that would make the wind farm viable for all parties involved is for RES to broker deals with taxing entities to take advantage of tax abatements, and in the case of school districts, a Chapter 313 Appraised Value Limitation Agreement. “The board is very interested in entering into an agreement that will benefit both parties,” said McCarn. “There is a slight bit of hesitation which only comes from waiting on what the consultant recommends because they are working to determine how this project will affect our district as it pertains directly to our funding from the state.” The meeting progressed with its regular reports as well as approval of a request from the 4-H, vehicle bids and the appointment of a member to the concho county appraisal district.