NEWS BRIEFS: City Council members unhappily add modern conveniences to the Trent Shelter, and more.

Plus, Spokane Riverkeeper and Coeur d'Alene Tribe team up to clean up; and check out our new Spokane City Hall widget.

click to enlarge NEWS BRIEFS: City Council members unhappily add modern conveniences to the Trent Shelter, and more.
Erick Doxey photo
Spokane will spend $1.45 million to improve a shelter it doesn't own.

More than six months after it opened, and almost a year after city officials signed the lease, Spokane's largest city-operated homeless shelter is finally on track to get indoor bathrooms and showers. City Council members voted to approve the $1.45 million in upgrades to the Trent Resource and Assistance Center on Monday, but they weren't happy about it. The decision, members said, was both morally necessary and financially irresponsible — a rock and a hard place. The city's shelter system is in a financially precarious place, City Council member Michael Cathcart said, and spending limited money to improve a building the city doesn't own and can't afford to buy is not a good long-term strategy. Additionally, council members said their decision-making was hampered by a lack of transparent financial information from the city administration. "It's a humanitarian need," Council member Lori Kinnear said. "I will vote for this, but I'm going to plug my nose and do it because I don't see any other way." (NATE SANFORD)

A CLEANER CREEK

Spokane Riverkeeper has settled a Clean Water Act lawsuit against CHS Inc., which operates a Rockford agricultural co-op that's contributed to pollution in the Hangman Creek watershed. By consent decree, CHS agreed to update its stormwater plans to prevent runoff pollution into Rock Creek, which flows into Hangman Creek and ultimately the Spokane River. CHS will also pay $151,000 to the Coeur d'Alene Tribe for habitat restoration work. "Restoring conditions to support native fishes across the Hangman watershed is a huge undertaking, and the Coeur d'Alene Tribe is leading the way," said Angelo Vitale, the tribe's fisheries manager, in a joint news release with the Riverkeeper. "This can't be done without many partners committed to a shared vision where fish, water, wildlife and working lands are given equitable consideration." (SAMANTHA WOHLFEIL)

STAFFER TRACKER

There's been a lot of chaos inside Spokane City Hall over the last three to four years — so much that it can be hard to get a sense of the big picture. That's why we launched the "Book of Employee Exodus" data explorer at Inlander.com/exodus, letting you dig into all the employee departures and vacancies from the last year of the David Condon administration to the third year of Nadine Woodward's. And as a bonus, we run through all of our stories — from planning director hiring delays to the near-collapse of the homelessness system — that explain exactly what you're seeing in our bar graphs. (DANIEL WALTERS)

It Happened Here: Expo '74 Fifty Years Later @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Tuesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Jan. 26
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