The council on Tuesday heard from City Attorney Laura McAloon about discussions with Whitman County about the future of District Court in the city, which has been housed in Pullman City Hall two days a week for decades.
Pullman has discussed keeping District Court proceedings in the current city hall building for two years. Other city services will soon move to the new city hall location on Crestview Street.
The city has proposed to pay the county $400,000 a year for its agreement to process misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors in the city.
It would also continue to allow the county to use the space without charging rent, and the county would be responsible to pay for utilities and half the cost of major building repairs that may spring up in the future, such as HVAC upgrades and roof upgrades. The county would be the only tenant using the building if district court stays there.
The proposed agreement would run through 2021. McAloon said the city has not received a counteroffer from the county.
Pullman downtown master plan underway
The consultant hired to help Pullman develop its master plan for downtown will begin interviewing stakeholders and the city council in the next couple of weeks about what their hopes for the future of downtown.
BDS Planning and Urban Design founder Brian Scott spoke to the Pullman City Council on Tuesday about the different phases behind the master plan. The master plan is intended to help the city map out ways to improve accessibility, design, development and other aspects of the downtown corridor.
The first phase will be the interviews with about 20 community members with a vested interest in downtown, then soliciting public comment from the community.
BDS will study the sociopolitical, economic and environmental issues in Pullman in the coming months, stage a two-day meeting in the fall to flesh out the details of the plan publicly, and adopt the plan early next year, Scott said.
The council offered a few of their concerns about downtown Tuesday. Among them was the accessibility for handicapped drivers and multi-modal transportation.
Councilor Dan Records said he has heard from people with mobility challenges that they will avoid going downtown at all costs. Councilor Ann Parks said she hopes there will be a way downtown that can be more inviting to people with disabilities, bicyclists and pedestrians while maintaining downtown’s charm.
Council approves grant to land new airline
The city council approved a Lodging Tax Grant to the city on behalf of the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport in the amount of $150,000 for a community match to the Small Community Air Service Development grant.
The Small Community Air Service Development grant requires the airport to raise $300,000 from public and private sources in order to market a new airline service. The airport is hoping to attract United Express flights to and from Denver.
Pullman Mayor Glenn Johnson said those flights would run twice a day and be 50-seat passenger jets.
Anthony Kuipers can be reached at (208) 883-4640, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.