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TEXARKANA, Ark. — To supply at least one or more of its government buildings with energy efficiency improvements, Miller County officials are looking at installing a solar farm.

County officials recently spent about $76,000 to buy and clear about eight acres of formerly private land outside the Texarkana, Arkansas, city limits on South State Line Avenue, said Miller County Judge's Office Administrative Assistant Carla Jenkins.

Although a time table for finishing and opening the farm hasn't yet been established, Jenkins said providing more heating, lighting, cooling and other energy efficiencies would likely 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 then 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 county's law enforcement and correctional building, Jenkins said that perhaps the county's 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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