What Proposition 1 Means For You - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

What Proposition 1 Means For You

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If Spokane County Proposition No. 1 passes, it could mean that approximately 500 people would need to find a new place to live.

Proposition One is a levy to protect Fairchild Air force Base from current encroachment issues. Or, in other words, there are too many people living in Fairchild's Accident Potential Zone, which according to the county, could hurt the future of the base.

KHQ visited the mobile home parks on the land that would be purchased by the county Monday, and nearly everyone there says they do not want to move.

"Well yeah, it affects us, and we don't want to move and we've lived here for a long time," said Steven Gibson who has lived in the mobile home park for thirty-one years. "Some trailers have been here since before even I moved out here."

Steven is not the only one frustrated by the possibility of having to move.

"Most of us do not want to move, we can't." said twelve year resident Dennis Young. " We wouldn't be able to find a comparable unit, for a comparable price that we're paying now,"

From door to door, the answer was the same for nearly everyone: 'we don't want to leave and we have no place to go if we're forced.'

Spokane County Commissioners say they are committed to relocating the residents and that they are working with local charities to find comparable housing. People who live in the seven mobile home parks would also be given at least a one year notice before they would have to be out.

However, people like Dennis Young, who has lived in the mobile home park for more than a decade, says moving would cost him more in rent, and limit his ability to do the things he loves most.

"I like to fish, I like to go camping, and the price of gas is way up there, so if you take $500 away that is $500 less I can pay to go anywhere," Young said.

Col. Brian Newberry, 92nd Air Base Wing Commander, released a statement saying, "This has become a high density residential development and greatly exceeds the allowable standard of two units per acre, which is a non-compatible use within an Accident Potential Zone."

The county says Fairchild is scheduled for a Base Realignment and Closure Commission, or BRAC, evaluation some time next year. If the accident potential zone is still non-compatible, the county is concerned Fairchild may not pass. Failure to pass could result in closing the base.

Losing Fairchild, would be a huge hit to the local economy. It is the largest single-site employer in the region, with 6,000 employees and has a $1.4 billion impact on the economy.

The levy would raise property taxes for a maximum of 9-years while the county pays off the bonds used to purchase the land in the Accident Potential Zone. For example, if someone owns a $100,000 home, it would be an increase of approximately $6 per year.

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