Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Thursday Three-Fer, Part II

Speaking of the corridor development, Whitman County Gazette publisher Gordon Forgey has an editorial in today’s edition that you would never see in the MOSCOW-Pullman Daily News:

County needs support on corridor plans

A 200 acre site has been selected for a major retail center just inside the county line from Moscow on the Pullman/Moscow corridor. The location for this would tie it into the shopping opportunities in Moscow while still being in Whitman County.

It would be a real plus for the county and, in fact, all county residents.

Whitman County would benefit from the sales tax generated at the stores. The development could cut down on retail dollars escaping the county and help to bring in dollars from outside the county. Property values would increase and provide some property tax growth. The development would also offer work opportunities for Whitman County residents.

The county has been working on the project for a while and, in fact, has reportedly been assisting in every way possible. It is right that it should. The benefits are very real to the county.

Even the very sticky issues of county land use, which have in various reincarnations plagued the county over the years, do not present roadblocks to the project. The county is fully behind the development.

The problem with green lighting the project is not Whitmsan County, but Moscow. Moscow has appealed county environmental determinations to block the project. A number of concerns and exceptions have been logged, and a number of obstacles have been presented.

So many obstacles have been put up by Moscow to stop the development that the principles have decided to start from scratch, a lengthy delay, but one that may ultimately see the project proceed.

All the obstructionism from Moscow is transparent in one degree. Moscow does not want the development outside its limits and its own sphere of influence.

This is one land use issue that does not pit county resident against county resident. Support of the project from county residents could help see it to fruition. At least, support could help the county face the upcoming obstacles and demands Moscow’s resistance will cause.
I admit I was ambivalent about the Hawkins Companies development at first. Forgey is right. It will tie into Moscow shopping opportunities, not Pullman. But the blatant, meddling interference of Moscow into the affairs of a sovereign government in another state has crossed the line. All Whitman County residents, including those in Pullman, should follow Forgey’s advice and support the corridor plans. Write a letter to the editor or let the county commissioners know how you feel.

1 comment:

April E. Coggins said...

This issue is probably more important to me than any other. A state line, county line and city line have been crossed with Moscow's appeal. Just as we have helmet laws, 7.7% sales tax and pay Whitman County property taxes, we should be allowed to decide what and where we allow development on our side of the property line.

It is flat wrong when people who are not elected nor pay taxes in Whitman county, have more say in Whitman county than Whitman county residents.