Dec 11, 2022 6 min read

Plans for a plan for the old East Central Library

Plans for a plan for the old East Central Library
(Photo illustration by Valerie Osier)
Table of Contents

CIVICS | Plus, a time out on a renter protection ordinance and another round of ARP money is getting distributed.

Hey! We're trying to get 100 new paying members to join our mission to empower our community before the end of the year. Support work like this weekly civics meeting rundown starting at $10/month here.

City Council

Merry ARP money: The city council is set to issue its fifth round of American Rescue Plan Fund money. The $6.8 million will be broken up among a few different things:

  • $4 million will go to providing matching grant funding to pay for outstanding utility bills of people in Spokane who were impacted by the pandemic.
  • $2 million will be a one-time revenue replacement to help the city recover from the pandemic while the administration figures out long term solutions to the gap in the proposed budget.
  • $500,000 will go to helping the city fund homelessness obligations.
  • $150,000 will go to revenue replacement to offset the amount of accessory dwelling unit permit fee waivers.
  • $150,000 will be a revenue replacement for the purpose of developing a broadband infrastructure study to support increased internet access in Spokane.

Time out on tenant protections: We all thought this was going to be voted on last week, but the city council ended up deferring it because they were still getting a lot of feedback.

This is listed under “Special Considerations,” meaning the council is only going to discuss the ordinance and its potential amendments and there will be no public testimony. The council will formally vote on the ordinance sometime in January and there will be a chance for comment  then.

Going into overtime: The city council is set to approve two Special Budget Ordinances to account for public safety overtime caused by understaffing this year. The fire department will get $3.7 million and the police department will get $2.5 million, both from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Fund.

Budget final readings: The council will have a final reading and vote on an ordinance that would establish requirements for unallocated reserve balances in the General Fund. This change will include requiring the city to maintain a minimum reserve balance of 25% of expenses in the General Fund.

Plus, after weeks of hearings, the council will also vote to adopt the city’s 2023 budget.

Agenda here.
Monday, Dec. 12 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 here.

Urban Experience Committee

Leasing the old East Central Library: The committee is going to discuss a resolution to set a process for getting proposals for the old East Central Library. This resolution is sponsored by Council Member Betsy Wilkerson and comes after Mayor Nadine Woodward unilaterally moved the south Spokane police precinct into the building, which received backlash from Wilkerson, Sandy Williams, and other community members. The city council adopted a resolution in July that specified the community engagement process for filling the space and originally set a Nov. 1 deadline for getting a lease signed.

The new resolution specifies that the city will publish a request for information no later than March 6, 2023 for providing neighborhood services at the building. The deadline for proposals is set for July 10, 2023. The city’s Equity Subcommittee will then review proposals to recommend to City Council based on criteria including fulfilling essential services that are needed in the neighborhood, affordability of services for East Central residents, among other things. The resolution also stipulates that the City Council and administration will use community input to finalize a lease for the building by August 7, 2023.

HR probs: The Urban Experience Committee is set to approve a contract extension for services with Archbright for Human Resources Consulting. The city is having a hard time filling vacancies in the HR Department, including the director position, the Senior Labor Analyst and two human resources analyst positions. The contract with Archbright provided services from July 19 to Oct. 4 at the cost of $46,000, but was extended through the end of the year at the cost of $54,000. Still being short-staffed, the department needs services from the company for at least the first three months of 2023 to fill in the gaps and to assist the pending new department head — a position that isn’t yet filled — at the cost of $60,000.

Bike parking code: The Urban Experience Committee is going to discuss a proposed update to the city’s bicycle parking code. The update includes providing more bicycle parking throughout the city, providing accessible short and long term bicycle parking, encouraging employers to provide shower and locker facilities and improving bike storage at transit stops.

Agenda here
Monday, Dec. 12 at 1:15 p.m.
Council Briefing Center in the Lower Level of City Hall.
808 W Spokane Falls Blvd, Spokane, WA 99201
The meeting is also livestreamed here.

Plan Commission

Alternatives: The Plan Commission is going to get a presentation on three development “alternatives” in the South Logan Transit-Oriented Development, a mixed-use, walkable development along the City Line — Spokane Transit’s soon-to-open bus rapid transit route. The options incorporate feedback the architects have gotten from the community and try a different mix of uses, densities and other changes to get closer to what the community wants. You can find more details on the project here.

Agenda here
Wednesday, Dec. 14 at 2 p.m.
The meeting is hybrid with access link in the agenda
Council Chambers in the Lower Level of City Hall
808 W Spokane Falls Blvd

Board of County Commissioners

Brass tax: We’re going to be honest: this item confused the heck out of us — this resolution covers special taxing districts and are written in confusing legalese with location descriptions made up of 1800s ye olde english. This is our best try at translating this item.

The commission will hold a public hearing on creating a new tax increment area in Mead, around Hawthorne Road and Highway 2, in order to finance public improvements for things like infrastructure, roads, water, sewer, sidewalks, street lights and more. In its justification for this tax, the board believes that these improvements will encourage private development within a relatively undeveloped trapezoid of land near the new Costco and increase the market value of the property already there.

According to the resolution, the costs are not to exceed $25 million over 30 years. Read the whole resolution starting on page 1,194 in the agenda packet.

Planning policies: The commission will consider a recommendation to amend the Countywide Planning Policies, which haven’t been updated since their adoption in the 90s. It’s not clear what the changes are, but these policies are mandated by the Growth Management Act and serve as a framework for how county and city comprehensive plans are developed and adopted. See the policies on page 1,208 of the agenda packet.

Traffic changes: The commission is set to have several public hearings on a bunch of traffic changes. These changes include things like adding stops and changing speed limits.

Agenda here
Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 2 p.m.
Public Works Building, 1026 West Broadway Ave.
1026 W Broadway, Spokane, WA
Commissioner’s Hearing Room, Lower Level

Mead School District Board of Directors

While the Mead school board has their agenda up, it appears there’s nothing wild on it. They will be reorganizing the board (picking who gets to chair it and whatnot), which they do at the end of every year.

Agenda here
Monday, Dec. 12 at 6 p.m.
Union Event Center
12509 N. Market St. Bldg. D, Mead, WA 99021
Watch via Zoom here.

Spokane School District Board of Directors

The Spokane school board’s agenda wasn’t available yet at the time of publication, but you can find it at the link below once it’s posted.

Agenda here
Wednesday, Dec. 14 at 7 p.m.
Boardroom, SPS Administration Building
200 N. Bernard
Watch virtually here.

Central Valley School District Board of Directors

The CVSD school board’s agenda wasn’t available yet at the time of publication, but once it is posted, you can find it at the link below.

Agenda here
Monday, Dec. 12 at 6:30 p.m.
Learning and Teaching Center (district office)
Board Room at 2218 N Molter Rd, Liberty Lake
Watch via Zoom here.

League of Women Voters’ on Affordable Housing and Homeless Solutions

You’re invited: At their December meeting, the League of Women Voters is hosting organizations that work with and provide services to unhoused people in the community. Meagan Vincello and Zeke Smith from Empire Health Foundation and Sarah Ben Olson and Jonas Hawk from the New Hope Resource Center will be speaking. And a LWV committee member who has worked with Catholic Charities will share her experiences with “housing first” programs. They’ll also discuss transitional housing and Spokane Valley’s homeless plan.

The league also encourages people to bring warm winter gear donations, including gloves, hats, socks, scarves and coats, so they can distribute them to those in need.

Tuesday, Dec. 13 5:30-7 p.m.
The Hive
Event Room A
2904 E Sprague Ave
Spokane, WA 99202
Hey again! If you find CIVICS helpful or informative, join RANGE and our mission to empower our community starting at $10/month here.

Another way to help us out is to forward this article to a friend and encourage them to sign up for our newsletter.

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
You've successfully subscribed to RANGE Media.
Your link has expired.
Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.
Success! Your billing info has been updated.
Your billing was not updated.