Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Thursday, January 17, 2008

"Developing Story: New Moscow council members ready to sit down, talk Hawkins"

Hallelujah! The Cold War with Moscow may be over. From the Moscow-Pullman Daily News website:
Relations between the city of Moscow and Whitman County could become a little warmer in the near future.

Newly elected Moscow City Councilmen Dan Carscallen, Wayne Krauss and Walter Steed all said they would be open to trying to mend differences with officials in Whitman County, and possibly even help Hawkins Companies develop its proposed shopping center just across the state border.

“I am open to having a dialogue with Whitman County on any subject and this development in particular,” Carscallen said. “I am all for meeting with Whitman County and the city of Pullman and whoever. “Let’s all get together and see if we can get along.”

The issue that has created the most tension between the two sides is Moscow’s appeals of three water-right transfers that have stalled Hawkins’ proposed 700,000-square-foot shopping development on the Pullman-Moscow Highway that would be anchored by a Lowe’s home improvement store.

In its appeals, Moscow argued that each water right was located in two different bodies of public groundwater and that the transfers would impair existing water rights, not be in the public’s best interest and would improperly modify the manner of the rights’ intended use.

The development is expected to eventually provide at least $1.8 million a year in sales tax and property tax revenues to Whitman County.

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