Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

"City to send water sale application to IDWR this week"

Things keep moving along with the Hawkins development.

From the May 28 issue of the Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
The City of Moscow will send off its application this week to the Idaho Department of Water Resources to provide water services across the Washington state line.

If the application is approved, Moscow will sell water to Whitman County though an intergovernmental agreement.Whitman County will then provide the water to the Hawkins Companies' 714,000-square-foot retail development just across the state line from Moscow.

Moscow agreed to provide water to Hawkins in a February settlement agreement. In turn, Hawkins is expected to retire water rights it had secured from the Washington State Department of Ecology.

Hawkins reviewed the IDWR application, as per the agreement, and made a few suggestions. One was correcting a typo, which City Supervisor Gary Riedner said will be done before the application is sent. Hawkins also requested to review the intergovernmental agreement. Riedner said drafts of the agreement will be made available to the public.

Hawkins also requested that the application to IDWR reference all of Moscow's water rights rather than just those connected to Well No. 9. Riedner said Well No. 9 has plenty of water rights to fulfill the city's obligation.

Riedner said the city will look into whether it should include more water rights, but the City Council Public Works/Finance Committee members directed him to send the application to IDWR first.

Councilman Wayne Krauss said the deal with Hawkins had nothing to do with which water rights are used, so the city is not obligated to change that part of the application.

"We need to send this down to IDWR," he said. "This is becoming more complicated. There is more red tape becoming involved in it."

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