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Sep 25, 2022 4 min read

CIVICS: A possible new? Or at least improved? Regional Law Enforcement Training Center

3-photo spread: A sign that says "caution police training in progress," a utility bill, a large warehouse with low priv
The right photo is of the interior of the Trent Shelter. (Photo by Erick Doxey) The other two are definitely generic stock photos. 

Plus, your utility bills will change soon, grant money for youth homelessness, and counseling services at Trent Shelter.

Welcome to our weekly digest on public meetings and agenda items worthy of your attention in the next week. This is part of our mission to empower normal folks like you with the tools and information to speak up in our community on the issues that you care about.

If you have any ideas or suggestions for this series, please email me at valerie@rangemedia.co!

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Hey! We're trying to get 50 new paying members for our fall membership drive. Join RANGE and our mission to empower our community starting at $10/month here

Spokane City Council

A (new? or maybe updated and expanded?) Regional Law Enforcement Training Center: The city council will vote on whether they will commit the city to work with the state legislature to pursue funding to update and expand Spokane Police Department’s training center so it can continue to serve as a regional law enforcement training center. According to the background information on the item, the Spokane Police Department’s training center is used by regional and state law enforcement agencies, and parts of it are in “dire” need of replacement.

Gov. Jay Inslee in July announced plans to speed up the police training process by adding more regional law enforcement training facilities across the state to combat a shortage of law enforcement personnel.  

The Public Infrastructure, Environment, and Sustainability Committee is also set to discuss this item in their meeting earlier in the day (see below). As a note, the agenda items specify that they’re pursuing funding for a “new Regional Law Enforcement Training Center,” while the resolution specifies its funding “necessary to update and expand.”

Grant money for youth homelessness: Spokane’s Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program has gotten a $2.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development. Most of it will be disbursed to Volunteers of America and Family Promise for contractual services.

Details:
Agenda here.
Monday, Sept. 26 at 6 p.m.
Council Chambers in the Lower Level of City Hall.
808 W Spokane Falls Blvd, Spokane, WA 99201
The meeting is also live streamed.

Public Infrastructure, Environment, and Sustainability Committee 

Your utility bills will change soon: The PIES Committee will be discussing an update to the utility billing system for city residential and commercial customers. The new system will roll out Nov. 1 and will change customer account numbers. According to the agenda, the water consumption billing will require some explanation to customers and your bill will also look different, but there is no mention of a fee difference.

Services at Trent Shelter: Spokane Community, Housing & Human Services is requesting the committee give conditional consent to approve Revive Counseling as the service provider for Trent Shelter at an annual cost of about $1.5 million. According to the project overview, “The Revive Family offers an integrated, person-centered approach to supporting those impacted by incarceration, homelessness, addiction, and trauma.”

Details:
Agenda here.
Monday, Sept. 26 at 1:15 p.m.
Council Chambers in the Lower Level of City Hall.
808 W Spokane Falls Blvd, Spokane, WA 99201
The meeting is also live streamed.

Spokane Regional Health District Board

FEE Fi Fo Fum: The health board will vote on adopting the 2023 SRHD fee schedule. While most of the fees, like public records and water permits, are staying the same, the most notable changes appear to be in the Outpatient Mental Health Services category. A “Request for Mental Health Service” has gone down from about $28 to $11.20, while a “Diagnostic Evaluation” has increased from $106.58 to about $292. It’s unclear based on the agenda why some service prices are going up, but the resolution notes that fees for services can’t exceed the actual cost of providing those services.

Entering budget season: The board will also be getting a report on the proposed 2023 SRHD budget of about $56.5 million. Their 2022 budget was $47.8 million and came with six job cuts. The 2023 proposed budget so far doesn’t include details on positions, but does include about $6.6 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds.

Details:
Agenda here
Thursday, Sept. 29 at 1:30 p.m.
Auditorium, First Floor
Spokane Regional Health District
1101 West College Avenue

Board of County Commissioners

Why doesn’t the world revolve around our deadlines?: The agenda for the regular session of the Board of County Commissioners wasn’t available yet at the time of publication, but when it is, it will be available at the link below.

Details:
Agenda here
Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 2 p.m.
Public Works Building, 1026 West Broadway Ave.
Lower level, Commissioners’ Hearing Room

Spokane School District Board of Directors

Capital plans: On the consent agenda, the Spokane Board of Directors is set to approve recommended 2022-23 Annual Capital Projects funded by a bond passed in 2018. This initial list of projects were identified as critically needed and will cost about $8.1 million. Recommendations include things like installing fencing at some schools, improving flooring and roofs at others, and installing water bottle filling stations. See the full list of what's happening at each school here.

Speaking of improvements: The board will be getting an update on long range program and facility planning for schools. The presentation includes a plan for community outreach and input and notes the need for replacing three elementary schools, remodeling two middle schools, and upgrading a high school. There are also recommendations to include these items in a 2024 bond.

Details:
Agenda here
Wednesday, Sept. 28 at 6 p.m.
Boardroom, SPS Administration Building
200 N. Bernard

Mead School District Board of Directors

Contract time: The biggest things on the Mead School District agenda appear to be the approval of the tentative one-year collective bargaining agreement for principals of the school district and the tentative three-year collective bargaining agreement for teachers. There are no salary increases in these contracts other than state-determined inflation adjustments.

Additionally, if you’re looking for some light reading, the minutes from the last meeting, including the extensive public comments on anti-“Critical Race Theory” and book-banning policies, are available in the agenda.

Details:
Agenda here.
Monday, Sept. 26 at 6 p.m.
Union Event Center
12509 N. Market St. Bldg. D, Mead, WA 99021
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Hey again! Before you go, a quick reminder that we’re trying to get 50 new paying members for our fall membership drive. Join RANGE in our mission to empower our community starting at $10/month here.

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