Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Friday, February 08, 2008

"Moscow helps clear way for Hawkins development"

Gazette publisher Gordon Forgey is as pleased as I am about Moscow's decision to drop its appeals of the Hawkins water rights transfers.

From yesterday's Whitman County Gazette:
Moscow, Idaho, has water!

After undue delays and undue expense, it turns out that there is enough water on the Palouse to support a commercial development on the Pullman/Moscow corridor in Whitman County.

In fact, the water that the development will use will come directly from Moscow, piped in across the state line into Whitman County.

The development, which is being created by Hawkins Company, has been on the drawing boards for a couple of years. One of the delays in advancing the project has been the refusal of the city of Moscow to recognize the availability of water for such a project despite unbridled growth on its side of the border.

Several Whitman County water rights were transferred to get the project underway. Moscow, especially its mayor, protested the transfers and appealed them, citing the lack of water on the Palouse and the destructive nature of the development.

It was all about the environment, said the mayor.

Then, some new members of the city council were sworn in. Suddenly, Moscow not only drops the appeal on the transfers but also offers to sell some of its water for the development.

This is a major turn around and clears the way not only for the development but also some mature dealings with Moscow.

Whitman County and Moscow are neighbors and now they may be able to deal with one another as such. They share many of the same problems. Their futures are intertwined.

It is a great step forward that Moscow has removed its roadblocks from the Hawkins projects. Moscow and Whitman County may now be able to work cooperatively in each other’s best interest.

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