Aug 24 – LAKE MOSES – The commission overseeing the port of Moses Lake on Monday dismissed the appeal of a small group of landowners and unanimously approved the property tax rolls for the port’s Westside Employment Center.
The special assessment imposed on seven landowners who own approximately 700 acres in the 2,300-acre Local Improvement District (LID) will help the port pay part of the $ 5.5 million cost of constructing the road G Northeast – which connects route 17 to route 10 Northeast – as well as electricity, water and sewer connections to future tenants.
According to Port Commissioner David “Kent” Jones, three landowners questioned the process of appraising their land, but offered no alternatives to port appraisals of their land.
“They just gave objections, and no solution,” Jones said.
Bob Fancher, whose Central Terminals company owns about 160 acres along the G Northeast Road, said he expected Commissioners to vote the way they did.
“Nothing really happened that surprised us,” he said.
Fancher said he opposed the port’s valuation of his property – which is based on “the highest and best use” given the improvements the port has built – because his land is found outside of the Urban Growth Zone (UGA) and cannot be zoned for industrial use. .
“We are exploring ways to protest further, but we have not made a decision yet,” he told the Columbia Basin Herald after the meeting.
The Westside Employment Center was established last year and currently has a tenant, Seattle-based Stoke Space Technologies, which is building a facility to test reusable rocket motors.