The West Chamber County Chamber of Commerce presented Barbers Hill ISD with a check for $25,494 at the Board of Trustees meeting Monday night to fund the Character Strong Program that will launch this spring. 

The Barbers Hill ISD Board of Trustees approved a 313 agreement with ONEOK, bringing the district’s total to 32 such deals.

The deal involves a natural gas fractionator worth an estimated $275 million that will create 12 permanent jobs. It will be the fifth ONEOK fractionator in Mont Belvieu. 

Becky McManus, assistant superintendent of finance, said while the fractionator is being constructed it will be taxed at full value. 

“Once it goes on to what is called the valued limitation stage, it will be taxed fully on interest and sinking side for our debt service, and then it would be taxed at $80 million on the maintenance and operations side of our tax base,” McManus said. 

ONEOK will save an estimated $7.5 million by entering into the agreement. 

There is also a provision that says Barbers Hill will not lose any state funding by entering into the 313 agreement. 

“Supplemental payments to the school district total about $7.4 million,” McManus said. 

A provision also allows the board to designate the Barbers Hill ISD Education Foundation as the beneficiary of the agreement at a later date. 

The Education Foundation currently has about $53 million, most of which comes from 313 agreements. 

These agreements allow the district to enter into a contract with a taxpayer to build or install property to create jobs, in exchange for a 10-year limitation on the taxable property valued for school district maintenance and operations tax purposes. 

“We value the partnership (with ONEOK) and we entered into a fair agreement,” Superintendent Greg Poole said. “These folks have been especially helpful to us in working with us.” 

The average salary for the 12-fulltime permanent jobs the fractionator project will provide is expected to be $66,000. 

Like Barbers Hill, ONEOK grateful for the partnership and agreement reached between the two entities. 

“We just appreciate partnering with Barbers Hill while growing our business and growing the school district at the same time,” Tim Blake of ONEOK said.  

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