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Regional News

Mayor proposes shelter contract, lease for homeless services in industrial area

spokane_city_hall.jpg
Nick Bramhall via flickr
/
Mayor Nadine Woodward has proposed an operator and a lease for a new shelter.

Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward has proposed an operator and a lease for a new large homeless shelter on Trent Avenue. On Monday, she asked the city council to consider a $3.7 million contract with the Guardians Foundation, a veteran focused group that already operates another city shelter.

She also proposed a five-year-lease with the building’s owner, Larry Stone. If the city council agrees, the city would pay more than $313,000 a year in rent for the site.

The proposed shelter is in Northeast Spokane in an industrial area. The city council recently passed a zoning change to allow for those types of services in industrial areas.

City Councilwoman Betsy Wilkerson was one of several council members who shared concerns about the escalating price and the sustainability of the lease.

“We know we have limited taxpayer dollars that we have to be accountable for,” Wilkerson said, “not only for certain parts of the city, but for all of the city, and all the citizens, and how that will impact them, and their tax base, and other things that have to be funded to make this city run. For all those who are listening, it’s not a no, but there are questions on top of questions because we're talking real money here.”

The building’s owner and a group of businesses has agreed to cover about half a million in improvements, such as getting the building up to fire code and installing insulation. The city would likely be on the hook for other costs, such as building bathrooms, laundry facilities and a kitchen.

City manager Johnnie Perkins asked the city council to vote on the proposals on June 20th to allow the shelter to potentially open at the beginning of August.

She also proposed a five-year-lease with the building’s owner, Larry Stone. If the city council agrees, the city would pay more than $313,000 a year in rent for the site.

The proposed shelter is in Northeast Spokane in an industrial area. The city council recently passed a zoning change to allow for those types of services in industrial areas.

City Councilwoman Betsy Wilkerson was one of several council members who shared concerns about the escalating price and the sustainability of the lease.

“We know we have limited taxpayer dollars that we have to be accountable for,” Wilkerson said, “not only for certain parts of the city, but for all of the city, and all the citizens, and how that will impact them, and their tax base, and other things that have to be funded to make this city run. For all those who are listening, it’s not a no, but there are questions on top of questions because we're talking real money here.”

The building’s owner and a group of businesses has agreed to cover about half a million in improvements, such as getting the building up to fire code and installing insulation. The city would likely be on the hook for other costs, such as building bathrooms, laundry facilities and a kitchen.

The city is still considering how to bring services, such as mental health car and job training to the site.

City manager Johnnie Perkins asked the city council to vote on the proposals on June 20 to allow the shelter to potentially open at the beginning of August.