I have been reading with interest the articles in the Key Peninsula News regarding the expansion of facilities for the fire department.
While I completely agree that growth and expansion are needed, even necessary, I would ask that fire commissioners reconsider the locations of that expansion.
The locations you are considering are the very rare properties that can support business on the Key Peninsula. They produce income for our families and the county, the schools, parks, fire department, and income for grants for our nonprofits. In short, they generate revenue through employment, sales taxes, B&O taxes and others.
Should the department use those commercial parcels, those revenue streams would be lost. A clear example is the parcel recently purchased for $950,000 from the Calahan family. Prior to the KPFD pur-chase, the facility produced income through its business operations. Now there is zero income. This loss of revenue must be shouldered by the taxpayers.
The location for department expansion could be elsewhere on the KP with much less impact on the prime commercial hub of Key Center. With some research and patience, I’m sure a location could be found that is just as suitable with a smaller price tag, has far less impact on revenue, and allows for commercial business to expand in the best location for its expansion. Public safety services can be permitted in R-10 areas.
In short, the expansion could be accomplished with far less expensive real estate, perhaps a larger parcel of land, without loss to prime commercial business opportunities in Key Center, and without loss of revenue streams, which contribute to lower property taxes.
Chuck Odegaard, Lakebay
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