OLYMPIA, Wash. - A small city in rural Eastern Washington can now exclude inmates at a state prison there from its official population.
Additional inmates at the Coyote Ridge Corrections Center would push the city of Connell over the population mark of 5,000 residents, which is the point at which cities lose their designation as small cities.
By law, Connell then would have to add two city council members to its current five and would have to compete with larger cities for state grants.
Gov. Chris Gregoire signed a bill Monday allowing Connell to exclude the prison's inmates from its population.