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Miller County looks to build solar farm for energy savings

by The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | February 1, 2021 at 3:00 a.m.

TEXARKANA -- To supply at least one or more government buildings with energy-efficient improvements, Miller County officials are looking into installing a solar farm.

County officials recently spent about $76,000 to buy and clear about 8 acres of formerly private land outside the Texarkana city limits on South State Line Avenue, said Carla Jenkins of the Miller County judge's office.

Although a timetable for finishing and opening the farm hasn't yet been established, Jenkins said providing more heating, lighting, cooling and other energy efficiencies likely would be extended first to the sheriff's office and jail building in the 2300 block of East Street. The building's jail, which opened in late 2002, can hold more than 300 inmates.

Besides the number of people the structure holds, Jenkins added that the building operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week -- making it a prime candidate for an energy-efficiency upgrade.

"Right now, we're looking at the sheriff's office and jail building for first consideration," she said.

Apart from the law enforcement and correctional building, Jenkins said that perhaps the courthouse or its health unit at 503 Walnut St., which used to be the old Micheal Meagher Memorial Hospital and later St. Michael, would be the other buildings that could eventually utilize energy efficiency provided by the farm, since both buildings attract larger portions of in-and-out public traffic.

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