Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Monday, February 04, 2008


Two important pieces of information concerning the infrastructure bond for the Hawkins development have been posted on the Whitman County website.

For those of you number crunchers, there is a spreadsheet with estimated project revenues and expenditures here.

Then, there is an informational memorandum here that contains a draft letter of intent and some questions and answers. These questions and answers set the record straight with regard to the all the lies the no-growth leftists have been spreading.


Some quotes from the questions and answers:
If the County enters into this project to build infrastructure, will my taxes go up?

Answer: No. As explained below in more detail, the County expects the increased sales and property tax revenue that this development will generate will more than pay for the costs to the County.

What if the unexpected happens and the projected revenue falls short? How will the County pay the bond?

Answer: The payment of the bond is not solely dependent on the expected revenue from the development. Even if the expected revenue falls far short of the estimate, the County has other sources of revenue to pay any bond it may issue.

How much will the County pay to operate the water and sewer system?

Answer: The County’s estimates are that the fees that would be generated from water and sewer utility payments that Hawkins and its tenants will pay would cover the costs of running and maintaining the water and sewer system.

How much will the County pay to maintain the roads, once they are built, and where will that money come from?

Answer: The County estimates a cost over a time period of 20 years of $1.3 million to maintain the roads. That includes the cost of resurfacing the roads and the cost of equipment to clean and maintain the roads. During the same 20-year period the County estimates that Hawkins and its tenants will pay $1.9 million in new property taxes which are by law devoted solely to road construction and maintenance. That $1.9 million will be used to pay the $1.3 million maintenance cost.

Will the County have to pay more for police protection?

Answer: The development will fall under the jurisdiction of the County Sheriff. The County estimates that it may have to employ an additional full time Sheriff’s deputy and an additional corrections officer at the jail. Both those positions may not be needed, but the County is budgeting for them in case they are needed. The costs of those two positions for a 20-year time are estimated at $4 million, including patrol car, equipment, and other associated costs. The estimated revenue from the project which is dedicated to funding of the jail and juvenile justice (1/10th of 1% sales tax) is $2.5 million. That leaves $1.5 million over a 20-year period that would be an added cost to the County. The County estimates that the additional sales and property tax general revenue generated by the project will more than pay for the $1.5 million.

What will be the cost of fire protection and who will provide it?

Answer: The Hawkins development will be within Fire District #12’s jurisdiction. In this Draft, Hawkins will donate land on-site and construct a fire house for the fire district. Part of the property tax paid by Hawkins and its tenants is by law dedicated to the Fire District. That is projected to be $1.1 million over the next 20 years. The County estimates that money will more than cover the costs to Fire District 12.


April E. Coggins said...

I'm grateful for the hard work of the Commissioners and County staff in providing this information to the public. I also appreciate their willingness to respond to specific questions about the project. Hopefully, with these facts clearly outlined, some of the doubters can now support the project. This is a bargain for Whitman County and is a required step if we want economic development in Whitman County and specifically in the corridor.

Satanic Mechanic said...

Mr.Coggins got a nice plug on KQQQ this morning about the Hawkins development.