Council Adopts Resolutions for Former East Central Library Building

Lisa Gardner, City Council Communications Director, 509.625.6226

Tuesday, July 12, 2022 at 8:08 a.m.

During tonight’s Legislative Session, Council voted 4-2 on a resolution specifying a community engagement process and timeline for leasing the former East Central Library building.  Council also voted 4-2 on a separate resolution calling on the administration to position a new police precinct in the East Central Neighborhood along the East Sprague corridor, the part of the neighborhood where crime is reported at the highest rate.

“Under these proposals, the East Central Neighborhood can get a medical or mental health clinic on the community center campus AND a new police precinct in the part of the neighborhood where most of the crime occurs and is needed,” said Council President Breean Beggs.

On June 20th, Mayor Woodward, without a vote of the Council or public notice, announced that the Spokane Police Department (SPD) would occupy the former library located at 524 S. Stone.  In May, Mayor Woodward agreed that it was the Council’s final decision on who will occupy the space, but the Administration did not consult Council for approval prior to placing SPD in the space.  Council President Beggs and Council Member Wilkerson co-sponsored these two resolutions to require a process that involves community input for the former library space and redirects SPD to the area of the neighborhood with the most concentrated crime.

Resolution 2022-0059:

  • The City shall publish a Request for Information (RFI) no later than August 1, 2022, for providing neighborhood services at the former library building pursuant to a lease agreement with a response deadline of no later than August 22, 2022. 
  • The City Council and Administration should utilize community input from a community open house and other means to finalize a lease for the building by November 1, 2022.

Resolution 2022-0069:

  • A new SPD Precinct in the East Central Neighborhood should be in an existing building on East Sprague Avenue or within two blocks of East Sprague somewhere between the Hamilton Overpass and Havana Street no later than January 1, 2023.
  • The precinct should utilize behavioral health officers, foot, and bicycle patrols, C.O.P.S. volunteers and collaboration with the East Sprague Business Improvement District.

“This puts in place a process for getting community engagement from the people who live in East Central,” said Council Member Betsy Wilkerson.  “It gives the ability for our community to possibly have a medical clinic and a police precinct; that is both critically needed.”