The Daily News will run articles this week featuring candidates views on important issues in both Moscow and Pullman. Development in downtown Pullman will be covered tomorrow (I hear that trolley comin', comin round the bend...), Friday will be the Pullman budget, and Saturday's article will address growth in Pullman and Moscow. I hope Michelle Dupler does the Pullman stories. She has her finger on the pulse of the Pullman issues.
In major news, the zoning revisions to the Moscow-Pullman Corridor have been approved after 17 years. The parcel size has been reduced to 3 acres and open space requirements dropped to 25%. Development will be restricted to the north side of SR 270 to preserve the Chipman Trail and the gravel pits on the south side. The hope is that development will now ensue, particularly as SR 270 will be four-laned, with a center median, starting in the spring of 2006. Commissioner Jerry Finch said, "We know there's interest out there. Now it's time for the government to step back and let the entrepreneurs make it happen." From your lips to God's ears, Jerry.
There is just one remaining problem: water and sewer service for the corridor. There is land for sale just over the Idaho border, but where is the water and sewer service going to come from? Moscow? I doubt it. Earlier this year the Pullman City Council rejected a county proposal to share sales tax revenues from the corridor in return for extending water and sewer services. The issue was the cost: $14 million. Obviously, the city doesn't have that kind of money. The corridor seems to be the natural path of growth for Pullman once Bishop Boulevard fills up. I have always thought a natural plan would be for the city to first extend water and sewer services to the airport, then after Wal-Mart and the subsequent retail it brings replenish the city's coffers, use the airport as a jumping off point for further utility service to the Moscow-Pullman Corridor and reap the sales tax benefits there as well. I see annexation of part of the corridor by Pullman in the future, but Whitman County will likely fight that tooth-and-nail.
Another good letter to the editor for Ann Heath. She seems to be winning the "war of the letters." I have yet to see many letters for Judy Krueger outside of PARD, and none at all outside of PARD for Gary Johnson. It's actually getting embarassing for Johnson. You can almost see the strings.
Lastly, the crown jewel of today's paper is Chuck Millham's brilliant "Their View" op-ed. Chuck has given much insight into the Wal-Mart issue in recent months. Today, he exposed PARD's national union and Democratic anti-Wal-Mart connections and how they are muddying both our city council election and the Wal-Mart development process. I strongly urge everyone to read it and share it with their family and friends before voting next Tuesday. We don't need outside influences intruding into our elections.