SPOKANE, Wash. -- On Monday, City Council voted in favor of a resolution that allows the city to look at purchasing the building the houses the Trent Resource Center, or 'TRAC.'
"It makes clear sense if we're going to have this longer than a year, we should be purchasing it," said councilmember Zack Zappone.
Zappone, along with four other councilmembers voted in favor of this resolution, which passed 5-2.
The debate on whether to lease or outright purchase 'TRAC' has been ongoing for months; the cost of which remains at the center of the argument.
The city is four months into a five year lease agreement, paying roughly $28,000 each month in rent. Then, the cost of food and servicing are factored in.
"Those restrooms are cleaned every day, those showers are dumped on a regular basis," said Brian Coddington, Communications Director for the City of Spokane. "Tens of thousands of dollars are spent on those restroom facilities and those showers."
Part of what's driving those costs is the fact that there are no physical bathrooms or showers on-site. The city spends thousands of dollars servicing portable toilets each week.
The future installation of an on-site restroom is non-negotiable, but that is stemming a large part of the argument: should the city purchase the building they plan on renovating?
City Council President Breean Beggs seems to think so.
"It just seems challenging to invest the money in bathrooms for someone else to reap the benefits of," said Beggs. "So if we're going to keep this for more than a few months which I'm assuming we are, we should buy the building."
The mayor's office, on the other hand, says if the city invests in restrooms and showers now, it'll eliminate those costs in the future, limiting the total costs needed to maintain the shelter.
"The estimates are that by doing those small improvements - adding permanent showers, adding permanent restrooms - that pays itself back in a matter of months," said Coddington.
Should the city continue their five year lease agreement at their current rent, they'll pay roughly $1.7 million in just property costs.
In the event that they decide to purchase the building, the property is estimated to be around $4 million, but with the potential to accrue in value.
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Jordan joined the 4 News Now team as a reporter and fill-in anchor. He arrived in Spokane after spending the previous two years in Lewiston, Idaho, where he served as the 11 p.m. anchor and producer for their CBS affiliate. Jordan spent a good chunk of his childhood in Fort Collins, Colorado before moving to Boise in 2010. He discovered his passion for journalism while attending the University of Idaho; learning the ropes of the profession from former KXLY reporter Julie Scott. He spent much of those days reporting on Vandals Athletics, becoming particularly enthralled with the football and basketball programs. When he’s not working, Jordan loves spending his time watching the Vandals on Saturdays, exploring the area, and playing ice hockey.