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Lisa Gardner

2022 Mid-Year Council Update

Lisa Gardner, Director of Communications and Community Engagement, 509.625.6226


Thursday, September 1, 2022 at 1:41 p.m.

2022 Mid-Year Council Update
City of Spokane logo

As summer ends and we move into fall, reflecting on the year 2022 has been exhilarating yet transformative for Council. Within the first six months, Spokane City Council enacted ordinances and supported resolutions showing that Spokane is a city that continues to lead!

American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)

In 2021, The City of Spokane had received $81 million in recovery funds as part of the Federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The City has established a working group that will develop and implement partnerships with City Departments, other government entities, and nonprofit organizations to effectively deliver funds to the community in alignment with the requirements of the ARPA.

Through several community workshops, virtual forums, an online community survey through ThoughtExchange, and collecting idea proposals from community members, Council was able to prioritize and make decisions on critical funding needs. As of July 2022, through Special Budget Ordinances, Council has approved nearly $42 million of ARPA funding allocations. The funding will support small businesses, non-profits, community centers, neighborhood business districts, multicultural centers, higher education, sub-area planning to increase housing along transportation corridors, eviction legal defense, and education program, funding to childcare providers, and employment support in the arts, and construction pre-apprenticeship.

In August of 2022, the City introduced a new cloud-based platform, Neighborly, to create ease in applying for and approving program dollars from APRA. Going forward, all RFPs will be administered through Neighborly software. Neighborly is currently live with the first two RFPs posted, Eviction Defense and Pre-Apprenticeship.

More information on ARPA

Environment & Sustainability

Water Ordinance/Drought Response

In 2020, The City Council convened a working group of volunteers called the Water Resource Collaboration Group (WRCG). WRCG was tasked with reviewing the City's Water Conservation master plan and proposing updates to the City council to enable more significant community input on the City’s water conservation strategies and goals. They found that Spokane residents currently use 202 gallons per person per day, which is more water per capita than 97% of the rest of the country. The city and its residents can reduce water usage to avoid costly infrastructure upgrades by reducing outdoor water usage. In May 2022, Council passed an ordinance establishing water conservation and drought response measures. The water conservation portion of the ordinance goes into effect each summer from June-September and applies to every water customer, residential & commercial. It requires that Spokane residents and businesses limit outdoor watering to every other day and refrains from watering between 10 am and 6 pm (peak evaporation time). The ordinance allows trees, newly planted landscapes, and vegetable garden exemptions.

Watering Schedule

For more information on water conservation measures

Housing & Homelessness

Housing

To mitigate Spokane's growing housing crisis, Council voted unanimously to adopt an Interim Zoning Ordinance. This historic interim zoning ordinance, known as the "missing middle," allows for permitting and construction of attached homes, duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes in more residential zoned areas of the City to increase the construction of multi-family housing near centers and corridors. The ordinance implements strategies laid out in the City’s Housing Action Plan (HAP) and several action items from City Council's HAP Implementation Plan and Mayor Woodward's July 26, 2021, Housing Emergency Proclamation.

Housing Rendering

Homelessness

To help remedy homelessness in Spokane and provide alternative space for residents of the homeless site, Camp Hope, City Council voted 6-1 on a lease agreement proposed for a homeless shelter at 4320 E. Trent Ave. The E. Trent facility is owned by Lawrence B. Stone Properties #4320, LLC, and is expected to be ready for occupancy around the beginning of September 2022 and will serve as a low barrier shelter occupying 150 – 250 unhoused individuals.

Additionally, in collaboration with regional government and service partners Council worked with Administration to propose a plan that will use more than $24 million in state funding for the transition of 600+ houseless move individuals currently living in a field near the freeway into safer, healthier, and more humane spaces.

Equity & Inclusion

Equity Subcommittee

In November of 2021, The Equity Subcommittee was adopted by Spokane City Council to serve as an advisory body for the council through the Finance and Administration Committee. The subcommittee will work with the City Council and city departments on policy and budget initiatives to build relationships between the City and impacted community members. The subcommittee welcomes diverse individuals regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender identity, geographical location, indigenous background, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, social class, and veteran status. The Equity Subcommittee held its first meeting on August 2nd with an impressive group of community leaders. Recruitment is ongoing and for more information, visit our website.

Language Access

Council voted unanimously to enact a resolution that creates a policy to establish a language access plan to ensure Limited English proficiency (LEP) residents have access to the City's services, information, civic processes, interpretation guidelines, and translation services. Through the resolution, the Office of Civil Rights, Equity, and Inclusion are encouraged to convene representatives from priority departments to evaluate a proposed Language Access Program and determine how to advance its implementation.

Public Safety

Police Vehicles

Understanding the importance of public safety functionality, City Council approved a Special Budget Ordinance (SBO) to support $3,128,000 in increased revenue from a transfer-in from the City's General Fund of unallocated reserves. The funding is to be used solely for purchasing and commissioning up to 46 Ford K8 Hybrid or Ford Mach-E models police vehicles. Due to a national vehicle shortage, supply chain delays, and a restrictive annual vehicle ordering window, the purchase will be made in 2022 for use in 2023.

Traffic Calming

In May 2022, Council rolled out its Citywide Neighborhood Traffic Calming program. The goal is to make our city neighborhoods more livable and safer for all users. The program began in 2010 with funding from the Photo Red Light, School Speed radar tickets, and all ticket monies go directly into the Traffic Calming Program. In collaboration with the Office of Neighborhood Services, the City Council Manager of Neighborhood Connectivity Initiatives hosted a series of community workshops to hear from neighborhood residents on solutions and ideas to make their respective neighborhood traffic safe.

Additionally, Council voted on a resolution Regarding the approval of a three-year Community Crosswalk Pilot Program to be paid through the Traffic Calming Measures Fund for up to $300,000. The community Crosswalk program would allow each Council District to apply for two community crosswalks over three years to equal six total crosswalks. This will serve as a traffic calming measure in accordance with recommendations from the National Association of City Transportation Officials.

For more information, please visit our traffic calming website.

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