Wildorado Schools Benefit From Wind Farms

Wildorado Superintendent Matt Branstine
Wildorado Superintendent Matt Branstine

Thanks to the Wildorado wind farm, Wildorado school district could be 200-thousand dollars richer.

KFDA spoke with the superintendent Matt Branstine says they have a Texas law to thank for the money. It allows school districts to give tax breaks to local industries. "The wind farm will be appraised at ten million dollars and the difference between 10 million dollars and the actual value - they won't pay property taxes on that, but they will pay us a percentage of that in lieu of taxes as a benefit to the school for giving them this tax break."

Wildorado has big plans for the money. One area of the school that really needs upgrading is the gym. On the list of improvements is a new rubber floor and air conditioning. Branstine says, "Some of the things I'd like to see...I'd like to add insulation, maybe brick the outside of the building. I'd like to change the windows, modernize the windows. Make them more energy efficient."

He's not the only one with ideas on what to do with the money though. His son, Nick, a second grader, says he wants a waterslide. Right now, Wildoredo is the only school in the area who is taking advantage of the law, but with the possibility of more wind turbines coming to the area, we could see more of these agreements in the future. Wildoredo will receive their first yearly check in 2010. The agreement is good until 2018.