The Sherman City Council will spend its first meeting of 2018 discussing a possible tax abatement for J.P. Hart Lumber. The meeting will take place at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the council chambers of City Hall, 220 W. Mulberry St.


The council will hold a public hearing on the proposed tax abatement agreement with Hart Lumber to allow any members of the public to speak on the issue. With Hart Lumber investing $8 million in its new Sherman facility, the company’s operation in the city would generate $171,000 in property tax revenues during the next five years with no abatement. If the council approves the abatement agreement, it is expected to provide a $68,000 benefit to Hart Lumber over those same five years.


The first step toward creating a commercial/industrial reinvestment zone for the Hart Lumber property was taken by the council during its last meeting. The abatement agreement calls for 50 percent reductions for the first three years and 25 percent reductions in years four and five.


In a document provided to the council, city staff noted none of the property considered under the agreement is currently on the tax rolls, so the city would still see a net increase in property tax revenues with the abatement. Hart Lumber is expecting to employ 29 people locally by June 2018 and 37 people by June of 2019.


Following the public hearing on the tax abatement agreement, the council will consider a resolution to make the agreement official.


Other than Hart Lumber tax abatement agreement, the only other item on the council’s agenda during open session for Tuesday is a proclamation naming January 2018 “School Board Recognition Month” in the city.


The council is meeting on Tuesday this week rather than its normal Monday meeting day because of Jan. 1, which is the first Monday of January, being a holiday and city staff being off.


Near the end of the meeting, the council will go into a closed executive session to consult with the city attorney on pending or contemplated litigation. Following the executive session, the council will return to an open meeting to take any items deemed necessary on closed session matters and to officially adjourn the meeting.