Last night’s council meeting was budget night. After several months of hearings and collaboration with the administration on council priorities, the budget was passed 5-1 (with Councilmember Fagan voting against). In the 2016 budget cycle, council prioritized public safety funding, economic growth, fiscal health, maintenance and improvement of public infrastructure and the improvement of health and quality of life of our community. To that end, we requested funding for 12 hire ahead positions in the Fire Department, sustained funding of the COPS program, funding for the Spokane Regional Law and Justice Council and increases in human service funding and neighborhood/business economic development. I specifically requested additional $100k in additional funding for homeless outreach after hearing from staff and service providers in the community about the need for better coordination and outreach; as well as $25K to plan for a future Emergency Medical Service levy and $25K for coordinated planning with Spokane Transit Authority. I want to thank Council President Stuckart for his hard work on coordinating budget priorities between council and the administration. In addition, the Council approved my request for $15k in matching funds for a cottage housing project that Transitions is currently planning. Read the rest of this entry »
City of Spokane Solid Waste Collection crews today are reporting ongoing issues with servicing garbage, recycling, and yard waste carts in alleyways. Solid Waste trucks can’t access about 80 to 90 blocks of alleys that are normally used for collection service because of power lines and trees.
If possible, residents who live on these blocked alleys are asked to put their carts out on the streets in front of their homes for pick up this week. If that’s not possible, the City will accept extra trash from these residents when alleys are again accessible.
Meanwhile, free emergency tree and yard waste storm debris disposal is available through Sunday, Nov. 29. In the first five days of the free service, the City logged about 3,400 visits to the free disposal sites with about 1,360 tons of storm debris collected. That number doesn’t include all of the material removed by City crews; those crews also are using an additional Water Department site for some of their work. Read the rest of this entry »
At emergency management meeting with city officials yesterday, we recieved information from the National Weather Service about the upcoming forecast that we wanted to share to ensure people are prepared. According to the National Weather Service, high temperatures will dip below freezing Monday night as the chance of snow rises. They are forecasting at least two inches of snow through Tuesday, and winds picking up Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday with the potential for 35 MPH gusts. For more information, click here.
For those without power looking for a place to warm up or get a meal, click here for resources.
On the evening of November 17, 2015, our city was pummeled by wind storm that leveled trees, damaged homes and cars, and left 180,000 people without power.
The Street Department and Avista have been working hard, around the clock, to clear trees and restore power; but the sheer amount of damage this storm has caused means there are still thousands of people without a place to stay, power at their homes and damage and debris to clean up.
With temperatures this low, the City is working to ensure citizens have places to stay warm, get food, power phones and computers and have resources to clean up debris and damage done to the their property. For safety, Avista is reminding citizens to treat any downed power line as a live line. Do not touch it, and call Avista at (800) 227-9187.
The resources below should help cover those needs as we continue to get our city back to normal.
- A list of overnight warming centers for people without power can be found here and here.
- Five Spokane Public Schools and several branches of the Spokane Public Library system are
open today for citizens to come in for warmth and charge electronics such as phones. See
details here and here.
- A list of open grocery stores for people in need of groceries can be found here.
- A list of urgent care facilities that are currently in operation can be found here.
- An up-to-date map of trees currently blocking streets can be found here.
- Information on outages for customers on Avista power can be found here.
- A list of licensed arborists to help with tree and large tree debris removal can be found here.
In addition to these resources, the City has extended curbside pickup for yard waste for two weeks (through December 18, 2015) and is accepting large emergency storm debris for free at the Northside Landfill, the Waste to Energy Plant and the North County Transfer Station. For more details, see here.
The City is also sponsoring a training today at City Hall (808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd) at noon to train citizens who want to help with door-to-door safety checks in places like East Central. If you’re interested, please stop by.
As we continue to assess the damage of the wind storm and clean up, Councilman Snyder has been out and about on the South Hill helping clear debris and cataloguing downed trees, power poles and powerlines.
Yesterday, a wind storm slammed Spokane, causing power outages and major damage to homes, cars, etc. due to toppled trees. This blog contains a list of resources and information for people impacted by the wind storm who are in need of help.
Avista power outage map: http://outagemap.myavista.com/external/default.html
Inland Power outage map: https://www.inlandpower.com/outage-map/
Avista Phone Number for downed power lines: 1-800-227-9187
Inland Power Number for downed power lines: 1-877-668-8243
Number for tree blocking a street in the City of Spokane: 509-625-7733
Spokane Public Schools Closure and Delay List: http://www.khq.com/story/7254841/school-closures-delays
Number for foresters who offer on-site free technical assistance about storm damage to your trees: 509-535-7274
The City is extending its residential curbside pickup for yard waste collection for two additional weeks, through December 18th, for any small storm debris.
If you have large materials to clean up in your yard, the City is accepting emergency storm debris for free at the Northside Landfill at 5502 W. Nine Mile Road (8am to 5pm) or the Waste to Energy Facility at 2900 S. Geiger Blvd (7:30am to 5pm) for free. Both locations will be accepting large storm debris through Friday. For more information click here: https://my.spokanecity.org/news/releases/2015/11/18/city-to-accept-storm-debris-free-at-northside-landfill-wte-facility/
At last night’s council meeting, we had four items up for a vote and one council vote that was not on the agenda. These included an emergency contract with Owen Equipment to repair a hose reel assembly on a Vactor Truck in our fleet services department, a resolution setting the assessment roll hearing for the Downtown Parking and Business Improvement Area on December 14, 2015 and an ordinance that made slight changes to the make-up of the Parking Advisory Committee, which provides recommendations on the spending of parking meter revenue funds in the downtown core area. These three items passed unanimously.
Also passing unanimously was a sale agreement of city owned surplus property near the southwest corner of South Regal and the Palouse Highway. This property is desired by KXLY to develop their property south of the South Complex. In order to complete the sale the Park Board must approve an easement on their property and the Planning Commission and the City Council must approve a Comprehensive Plan Amendment to allow KXLY’s property to be re-zoned for commercial use. This is a multi-step process that requires coordination with the Southgate Neighborhood Council and will take a year to work out before the Comp Plan vote happens in October 2016. If all the steps aren’t completed successfully the sale agreement will fall through. The Council has specified that $300k of the sale proceeds be used to implement the Southgate Neighborhood Council’s connectivity plan. This was negotiated by Council President Stuckart. The Southgate Neighborhood Council has worked very hard to see that this development does not result in the sub-standard build out we have seen on previous Southgate developments. I’m hopeful we can get a good result from this process.
The only item that was not unanimous was a vote to override Mayor Condon’s veto of the mobile/manufactured home park comprehensive plan amendment. The Council passed this amendment on a 5-2 vote on November 2. The text amendment only adds language to our comprehensive plan that would enable us to designate appropriate areas for the preservation of mobile and manufactured home parks at a later date, after extensive public input. No zoning changes will result from this text amendment. The importance of this amendment is that it signals that the City of Spokane recognizes mobile and manufactured home parks as a source of affordable housing in our city. The Mayor vetoed the amendment Monday morning.
Last night, Council had three items to vote on. The first two items were a resolution and an ordinance that increases the property tax levy and emergency medical services levy by one percent. These two items were taken together and passed on a vote of 5 to 1 (Councilmember Fagan voting against). The other item was an ordinance brought forward by Council President Stuckart to provide people charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana by the City of Spokane municipal court an opportunity to have the charge vacated. This ordinance was unanimously adopted.
At the end of the meeting, the council held a hearing to review the proposed 2016 budget for the City of Spokane. The budget will not be voted on until closer to the end of the month. To see what’s in the proposed budget and dig a little deeper, click here.
I was not at the meeting because I was supporting my wife at the Governor’s Arts and Heritage Awards where she recieved the Arts Education Award.
In case you haven’t heard, In the final moments of the last legislative session(June, 2015) State Representative Joe Schmick, placed into the capitol budget a proviso that permanently closed 135 miles of the John Wayne Trail. The state park land is the only cross state trail in Washington. It is a beautiful scenic path that is closed to motorized vehicles and used by hikers, bikers, and horse riders by the thousands.
The trail would be closed today if not for a typo. Rather than close the trail from “Columbia river to Malden”, it read to close the trail from “Columbia river to Columbia river”. This nullified the legislation going into effect. Recently, the Spokane City Council passed a resolution supporting the preservation and maintenance of this trail in light of these developments.
Representative Schmick has now agreed to hold three public listening meetings where he will solicit public opinion. At the end of these meetings he has said he will consider introducing legislation to address the concerns he hears. The meeting date, times and locations are as follows:
Tuesday November 10th 12pm Rosalia, Community Center (7th St. and Whitman Ave).
Monday November 16th 12pm Lind, Union Elevator Conference room 201 S street
Monday November 23rd 6pm Ellensburg, Hal Holmes Center 209 N Ruby St.
Those unable to attend the meetings but would like Rep. Schmick to hear their concerns may email JWTcomments@gamil.com.
Tomorrow will be the 12th Anniversary of KYRS – Thin Air Community Radio. To celebrate, the KYRS 12th Anniversary Celebration & Silent Auction will be at the Washington Cracker Bldg. 304 W. Pacific at 7pm. Tickets can be bought here or at the door. $20 for general admission.
Monday, November 9 at 1:30pm – Public Works Committee – Council Briefing Center in the lower level of Spokane City Hall (808 W Spokane Falls Blvd).
Monday, November 9 at 6pm – City Council Legislative Session – Council Chambers in the lower level of Spokane City Hall.
Wednesday, November 11 at 7pm – Peaceful Valley Neighborhood Councl – Peaceful Valley Community Center (214 N Cedar).
Wednesday, November 11 at 7pm – Southgate Neighborhood Council – ESD 101, Conference Center, 4202 S. Regal St.
Thursday, November 12 at 1pm – Spokane Regional Transportation Council Board Meeting – 221 W. First (SRTC Office).
Thursday, November 12 at 3:30pm – City Council Study Session – Council Briefing Center.