I am writing in opposition to the City of Moses Lake Fire Department’s proposal to implement impact fees for fire infrastructure. The fees would be collected on all new construction in the city, and they would be used for new fire equipment or facilities. The methodology the Fire Department used in identifying the need for fire infrastructure and for assessing fees on construction projects leaves us with more questions than answers. The Department chose to hire a west side consulting firm to analyze our data, which they compared to communities on the west side to determine the fees our businesses and citizens would be paying. Additionally, the Planning Commission, a body of issue experts that is appointed by the city council to advise on development-related issues in the city, has been left out of much of the analysis and decision making regarding these impact fees. Finally, the vote for this could come as soon as Oct. 8, which is too small a window for the public to become informed on the issue and be able to provide feedback.
Before Council votes on a proposal that would deter growth in our city, it is necessary that the citizenry is able to engage and be fully informed of the negative, long-term impacts these impact fees would have. Like with any other significant decision, this one should be made after careful deliberation and input from all appointed and non-appointed parties.