City to Pool Resources to Fix Up East Sprague

By Paige Browning

City leaders in Spokane have a new idea of how to bring our oldest neighborhoods back to life. Thursday, city council members announced a targeted approach to investing in the East University District.
The city council and mayor’s administration will ante up five million dollars in one area: the East University District. Speaking in front of the Tin Roof local furniture store, City Council Rresident Ben Stuckart says this pilot program hopes to show when public dollars pour into one area, private dollars will follow.
Stuckart: “Community Housing a Human Services Department came up the other day and said ‘we found this money that has to be targeted to ecomonoc development, it’s about $900,000. So we can use that for your project. Our third district legislators have approached us and said this is one of the best investments that the city has done, so they are committed to working on state capitol dollars.” (:20)
Project improvements will be as simple as adding trash bins, and as advanced as street repairs and assessing land use.
City Council member Amber Waldref represents the area, and says the council reviewed a list of nine neighborhoods. She says they chose the East University District because local groups are already working hard there.
Waldref: “With groups like ECCO and Impact Capital, they’ve invested time and energy with a very strong international district plan.”
The city will implement Operation Targeted and Concentrated Investment in the neighborhood over the next two years. It it’s successful, they’ll use the approach elsewhere.
Copyright 2013 Spokane Public Radio
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