Spokane Valley Mayor Richard Munson might have been thinking of an old Janet Jackson song when one applicant, in particular, came forward looking for $65,000 in city dollars Tuesday -- “What Have You Done For Me Lately?”
A dozen social services and economic-development organizations came forward to solicit the City Council for financial assistance to continue their public service in Spokane Valley. Requests totaled $237,000, and the city has only $141,000 to give in 2010.
Council members will each make his or her own priority list, which will be debated and settled upon at the Sept. 8 council meeting. But Munson said he is reluctant to give Greater Spokane Inc. – the self-proclaimed chamber of commerce and economic-development organization for the entire region – any money this year because it has not demonstrated it is attempting to bring new business to Spokane Valley. In particular, he is disappointed GSI has not developed a marketing strategy around the newly adopted Sprague-Appleway Revitalization Plan.
“The response I got was, ‘What plan?’” Munson told Robin Toth, GSI’s director of business development, after she made her presentation. “I was shocked…this is the future of Spokane Valley.”
Toth did said GSI – which was formed by the merger of the Greater Spokane Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Council in 2007 – has brought at least six businesses into Spokane Valley since 2003, which have combined for 586 new jobs in Spokane Valley and brings in $2.6 million in tax revenue each year. She added, however, that GSI did not intent to “sit on its laurels” and would market Spokane Valley in the future.
When she said GSI could have a plan based around the SARP and the proposed Spokane Valley city center in three to six months, Munson was not impressed.
“This plan goes into effect Oct. 1,” he said. “I’d like to see it by then.”
Also requesting funding from the city are:
- Project Access, which provides specialized health care to the uninsured, $25,000 (received $15,000 in 2009).
- Arc of Spokane, which provides assistance to the disabled, $5,000 (received no money from the city in 2009).
- Center Pointe, which has ceramics programs for disabled citizens, $1,500 (received no money in 2009).
- Hearth Homes, which provides shelter for homeless mothers and their children, $10,000 (received no money in 2009).
- Valley Meals on Wheels, which delivers meals to the elderly and disabled, $6,500 (received $5,500 in 2009).
- Big Brothers Big Sisters, offers mentoring to youths – especially those at-risk, $10,184 (received $4,000 in 2009).
- Spokane Valley Partners, runs a variety of service programs – including a food bank – to low-income area residents, $35,000 (received $11,000 in 2009).
- Coalition of the Responsible Disabled, offers assistance and advocacy for the disabled, $13,414 (received no money in 2009).
- Spokane Valley Arts Council, promotes the arts in Spokane Valley, $10,000 (received $5,000 in 2009).
- Community Minded Television, which offers TV technical training and programming for the area, $25,000 (received no money in 2009).
- Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce, promotes business opportunities in the area, $30,000 (received $5,000 in 2009).