[Vision2020] Make police facility green

Moscow Cares moscowcares at moscow.com
Wed Apr 3 02:54:09 PDT 2019

Courtesy of today’s (April 3, 2019) Moscow-Pullman Daily News with special thanks to former MOM (Moscow’s Own Mayor) Nancy Chaney.


Letter: Make police facility green

Gobsmacked: A state of being astonished or bewildered. The word sums up my sentiments over plans for a new police facility in Moscow. It's not that the facility couldn't be beneficial to the community. It's that government officials are asking property owners for nearly $8 million to pay for structures that would be obsolete before they even get built. One need not be for or against the general obligation bond to have an opinion about sustainable design, construction, siting and landscaping, particularly for a project of this scale and lifespan, with 24/7 operations.

While asserting commitments to reduce greenhouse gases, conserve resources and provide exemplary working conditions, city officials merely directed consultants to "develop a building program and master plan with the intent of reducing design and construction costs." That strategy seems penny-wise and pound-foolish. Modest investments in energy efficiency today would significantly reduce costs and environmental impacts tomorrow. (Case in point: Retrofitting the aquatics center with renewable energy technology.)

The consultants get it. They are well-acquainted with advantages of healthful, sustainable materials and energy-efficient design and construction. Their planning document for the current proposal advises, "Expenses for utilities will be one of the most significant operational costs incurred over the lifespan of the facility." Presumably because of the city's mandate to cut costs, their only nod to sustainability involves natural lighting and optional LEDs or fluorescent fixtures. It's not too late to choose LEED or equivalent green-building standards. My guess is that the design team would be delighted to oblige.

Here's a challenge to Moscow's City Council: If you're asking property owners to pay nearly $8 million for a new police station, promise that it would be sustainably designed and green-built. Commit to finding resources to do it right from the beginning, before the election. Set an example for Moscow's future.

Nancy Chaney


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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