The Ritzville Adams County Journal - Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

By Roger Harnack
The Journal 

Businessman planning halfway house in Lind


Last updated 8/24/2021 at 1:24pm

LIND – A Renton businessman is in the final stages of purchasing the dilapidated DeVore Motel for development as a residential halfway house for inmates who have served their time.

“I prefer calling it a discipleship training center,” Peter Spairring said Monday, noting he has made an offer on the motel at 206 E. Second St.

The sale is expected to close in a few weeks, he said.

Once the sale goes through, Spairring will begin meeting with state correctional agencies to find inmates about to be released who have expressed and demonstrated their desire to turn their lives around through studying scripture and working.

“I’d be looking for guys who want to really make a change in their lives,” he said, noting he would also consider inmates with family in Lind.

Spairring said he has been in contact with a program manager at Coyote Ridge Corrections Center, laying the groundwork for his plan that would house up to seven residents who would be monitored.

Coyote Ridge is located in nearby Connell, about 25 miles away just off U.S. Highway 395, in Franklin County.

Any inmate being released from prison who is eligible would have to work on the motel grounds. Once they prove themselves after about 90 days, they would also be required to provide community service.

According to Spairring, the plan would lead to a much-improved property and give former inmates an opportunity to prove themselves without risk to the community.

Spairring acknowledged that he won’t have 100% support for the proposal locally, but said the residents he’s talked with are interested in seeing such a center succeed locally.

Unfortunately, he said, he’s run into threats from Mayor Paula Bell.

“She’s basically told me, ‘we don’t want you here,’” he said. “She said the council basically does what she says.”

Spairring said he previously reached out to the mayor as a courtesy. Instead, he was met by her efforts to obstruct a private venture.

He then asked for a meeting of the town council so he could provide details of his plan.

The meeting was initially scheduled, then canceled, then rescheduled for a date after his property purchase contingency date. A meeting finally took place Friday evening, Aug. 20.

During that meeting, he laid out his plan, which he believes will not only dramatically improve the property, but also bring money into town.

Sheriff Dale Wagner also participated in the meeting.

On Monday, Spairring said his first steps will be improving the property, including re-roofing, installing new windows and secure doors, and insulating and painting. Once residents arrive, they’ll have to maintain and landscape the property.

If all goes as planned those same residents would take up the work on another part of the property.

“They’ll have chores to do,” he said. “This will go from an eyesore in town to something that looks nice.”

Spairring said he’s hoping the Town Council will consider offering positive input on how his project could benefit the entire community.

“It’s not like I need their permission,” he said. “But this is an opportunity.”

Spairring said the topic may be discussed again during the 7 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 24, meeting of the Town Council.

While the mayor moved the meeting from Town Hall to the Lind Senior Center, 117 N. I St., she did include an agenda.

Author Bio

Roger Harnack, Publisher

Roger Harnack is co-owner and publisher of Free Press Publishing. An award-winning journalist, photographer, editor and publisher who grew up in Eastern Washington, he's one of only two Washington state journalists ever to receive the international Golden Quill for editorial/commentary writing. Roger is committed to preserving local media, and along with it, a local voice for Eastern Washington.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 5092356184
Twitter: @RogerHarnack


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