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Spokane Officials Outline Process For Involving Public In Spending Rescue Plan Money

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

About $200 million in federal pandemic rescue plan money are coming Spokane’s way. Local officials have outlined the deliberative public process they’ll use to decide how to spend it.

Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward says she plans to hold in-person open house-style meetings in each council district. It also proposes a telephone town hall for those who want participate from home and also what she calls a virtual “thought exchange.”

“These are one-time funds. They’re not funds that we want to spend to stand up new programs or add on to programs that already exist because that’s not sustainable, but to strategically, as we restore services and as we help those who are struggling, households, families, businesses, that we also look at leveraging these funds for future investments to make that generational impact," Woodward said.

The city’s share is $82 million, of which it has already received half. Spokane County’s share is about $100 million. The other cities and towns in the county will receive smaller grants. They have until the end of 2024 to decide how to spend the money and then until the end of 2026 to actually spend it.