Spokane City Council delays vote on ordinance establishing criteria for siting essential facilities

East Central precinct
Copyright 4 News Now

SPOKANE, Wash. – The Spokane City Council has delayed voting on an ordinance that would determine the process and criteria for siting essential City facilities. 

The ordinance stems from debate over the use of the former East Central Library building. 

Earlier this summer, Mayor Nadine Woodward announced the building, which shares a parking lot with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, would be a new Spokane Police Department precinct. 

Though she was within her power to make the decision, members of the Spokane City Council said they felt blindsided by her decision. 

“I mean that’s what’s disappointing, is that she promised a few weeks ago that City Council would make the final decision based on the community engagement and input,” City Council President Breean Beggs previously told 4 News Now. “She took it into her own hands, she had the legal ability to do it, that doesn’t cure the broken trust in the community over it, and it doesn’t get us a police precinct with those eight officers where the crime is and where they can be accessed by community members.”

Beggs would prefer the new location for the precinct be on East Sprague, closer to local businesses. 

Now, the council is looking to change the language that defines the processes and protocols for utility facilities. 

The ordinance looks to codify public processes and criteria to fit important City buildings, like police precinct or offices, fire stations, utility facilities, community centers and libraries. 

It stems from multiple requests from the Council to allow the public to participate and have transparency on public buildings. 

The council will vote on the ordinance at a later meeting. It requires five affirmative votes to pass.

RELATED: Spokane City Council approves two resolutions for East Central police precinct

READ: ‘Where’s the transparency?’ Mayor, Council at opposite ends of new East Central police precinct