Fire impact fees bad for housing market

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The City of Moses Lake is currently considering implementing fire impact fees on new construction within the city. These fees will negatively affect many significant development projects in Moses Lake, including new residential neighborhoods. The Grant County Home Builders Association, an organization that works to promote affordable housing for our citizens, opposes the implementation of these impact fees as they will drive up the cost of home ownership, potentially pricing young families out of the market.

While the Home Builders Association appreciates the safety the fire department provides the community, we feel there are much more reasonable options for addressing the fire department’s desire to expand. By keeping housing affordable, more people will move to the area, and existing residents who rent will move into their own homes. This will increase tax revenue, and the fire department’s budget can be increased as a result. Privatizing the ambulance service would also do a lot to alleviate the fire department’s budget issues; however, that option has not been considered during the process of developing the impact fees. Medical emergency calls currently make up the large majority of emergencies the fire department responds to, and the cost of those callouts is driven up by the department’s policy of sending a fire truck with an ambulance to most of these emergencies.

The Grant County Home Builders Association strongly urges the City Council to consider all options and to be mindful of our desire for increased development in the city before making a decision on impact fees. Thank you very much for your consideration.

Dustin Swartz

President, Grant County Home Builders Association

Moses Lake

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