[Vision2020] When these two agree, there's reason to pay heed

Moscow Cares moscowcares at moscow.com
Tue Jul 28 05:39:19 PDT 2015

By the way, Mayor Lambert and our city council . . . How's the Third Street bridge coming along?

Courtesy of today's (July 28, 2015) Moscow-Pullman Daily News.

Our View: When these two agree, there's reason to pay heed
When former Moscow Mayor Nancy Chaney and current Moscow City Councilor Walter Steed agree on something, it's unusual.
So when they both expressed concerns about the local share of the financing for the runway realignment at the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport, we paid attention.
At stake is the existence of a local airport with scheduled Alaska Airlines flights. Today, it doesn't meet Federal Aviation Administration standards. The FAA has given the airport a waiver, as long as it is trying to fix the problem, which might cost as much as $119 million. And the FAA seems willing to spend more than $109 million to help, as long as local governments and other groups come up with $9.5 million or more.
It is the how and the who and the how-much of that $9.5 million that concern both the liberal Chaney and the conservative Steed.
If Moscow, Pullman, the University of Idaho, Washington State University, the Port of Whitman County and others are going to pay that $9.5 million jointly - it's said they will - it is obvious they should sign a contract.
It would state how much each would contribute in percentages or specific dollar amounts, and specify when those contributions would be expected. It would specify what would happen if a party didn't contribute as expected. It would spell out who would pay for cost overruns - and how much. And it would be fully signed before the project moved ahead.
Today, there is no contract. No one's sure who the parties are, how much they will contribute or what happens if the cost rises.
Still, the Moscow City Council has agreed to pay a $2.5 million share.
There's the other rub.
The council plans to borrow its contribution from money in its water, sewer and garbage utility funds, from its payroll fund and from property taxes it could but won't collect now - and will collect later.
Chaney and Steed are asking the City Council to consider what local investments in utilities and other big projects - including emergencies - the city might have to sacrifice because it had already spent its money on the runway. Instead, they want a bond issue crafted specifically for the airport.
We, too, fear the gentlemen's agreements will put the airport in a fix, not get it fixed.


Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .

"Moscow Cares" (the most fun you can have with your pants on)
Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho
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