City Council approves money for wildfire victims, budget

Fire victims will receive $60,000 for 2020, $40,000 for 2021



The 2021-2022 budget for Pullman was unanimously approved and includes $12,828,179 for transit expenditures and $15,671,838 for law enforcement.


Pullman City Councilmembers unanimously approved a total of $100,000 for families affected by the Malden and Pine City fires that will be distributed within two years during a virtual meeting Tuesday night. They also approved a biennium city budget.

The council approved using affordable housing funds the city received through House Bill 1406 to assist the victims of the fires. The bill lets the City of Pullman use some of Washington state’s sales tax revenue for affordable housing.

The affected families will receive a total of $60,000 for rental assistance for 2020 and $40,000 for 2021.

About 25 people are living in RVs, County Commissioner Art Swannack said.

An ordinance adopting a budget for the City of Pullman for 2021-2022 was unanimously approved.

The budget includes $12,828,179 for transit expenditures, $13,168,527 for arterial streets and streets and $15,671,838 for law enforcement, according to city documents.

Councilmembers discussed and approved a motion to apply for the Sprint Challenge Grant.

The grant would build a partnership between the city and WSU to establish technology-led businesses, as well as increase the number of other local businesses in Pullman, said economic development manager Jennifer Hackman.

“This grant would help diversify the local economy and keep business retention,” she said.

Hackman said this grant would be in place from 2021-2023 and would not exceed $391,132.

It is not likely that Pullman and WSU would receive the grant because it requires one-to-one cash matches, said Brian Kraft, assistant vice president of the Innovation & Research Engagement Office.