City Council tables discussions of shelter space, water fluoridation

Spokane City Hall
Copyright 4 News Now

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane City Council tabled discussions of purchasing shelter space, as well as a resolution requesting the City conduct a study of water fluoridation during Monday night’s council meeting.

According to the council agenda, the City has been looking to purchase a building to turn into a shelter for homeless people. The City Council was scheduled Monday to consider whether they will support that effort, as well as if they seek an extended funding period from the State Department of Commerce.

The State Department of Commerce awarded the City a $2.7 million grant in August to establish a shelter specifically for young adults. The agreement states those shelter beds must be available by the end of the year.

Instead, the city’s shelter on Cannon Street was turned into an all-ages, year-round shelter — which prompted a letter from Commerce Director Lisa Brown and the City Council, expressing that this would not be an adequate solution for young adults.

RELATED: City Council pleads with Mayor Woodward to reconsider stance on young adult shelter in Spokane

Another item was the fluoridation of Spokane’s water — right now, Spokane is the largest city in Washington without fluoride in its drinking water.

Measures to fluoridate have been shot down for decades, but health and dental experts say the best time to push the idea through is during the COVID-19 pandemic — when many health problems are exacerbated.

The council was to consider a nonbinding resolution — essentially a motion with no legal weight, like a statement of approval that the council votes on — asking Mayor Woodward to use grant funding to conduct a study of water fluoridation.

RELATED: Cannon Shelter to transition to year-round shelter thanks to CARES Act funding

RELATED: Homeless shelters contend with COVID-19 heading into winter