Paso Robles City Council Meeting Highlights for December 15, 2020
Highlights from the Regular City Council meeting, held on Tuesday, December 15, 2020, are as follows. The City Council took the following actions:
Received an Update on the COVID-19 Situation and City Response. There are now more active COVID-19 cases and a higher positivity rate in the County than at any prior point. ICU capacity in the Southern California region, which includes San Luis Obispo County, is currently at 1.7%. Chief Stornetta urged residents to comply with public health guidelines, particularly as City staff, including public safety staff, are experiencing increased COVID cases; we need the community’s assistance in helping stop the spread of COVID in to maintain adequate City staffing levels, especially our Police and Fire first responders. The City continues to provide information about assistance for residents and small businesses at www.prcity.com, and State assistance information can be found at www.covid.ca.gov.
Received a Capital Projects Update. The first lift of paving on phase 1 of Dry Creek Road is completed. The Main West Tank on 21st Street is complete, 19th Street access has been repaved, and the slopes have been hydroseeded. Jardine Road rehabilitation is underway. The County is completing the work and the City will be funding it.
Received a Presentation from Fort Hunter Liggett. Colonel Charles Bell outlined their COVID response and prevention measures, continued support for troop readiness, and community engagement efforts.
Approved Design Work for Pedestrian Enhancements near Flamson Middle School. Council authorized a professional services agreement with Rick Engineering, to prepare the final design of the pedestrian enhancements at Flamson Middle School, funded with a $50,000 SLOCOG Grant.
Approved the Purchase of Automatic License Plate Readers. Council authorized an agreement with Vigilant Solutions for the purchase of an automated license plate reader system in the amount of $100,455, to be funded by Measure J-20 Sales Tax Proceeds. License plate readers will be placed at key entry and exit points of the City to assist with criminal investigations.
Approved a Response to the Grand Jury Report. The Grand Jury asked the City to consider joint dispatch with nearby cities. The reply explains that the City commissioned a study on that topic last year and to date has not found sufficient efficiencies to warrant that change.
Provided Clarification and Additional Direction Regarding Business Viability and the Governor’s Regional Stay at Home Order. Council affirmed its direction from December 10th, clarifying that while the City of Paso Robles will not be enforcing beyond Purple Tier Guidelines, the State’s Regional Stay at Home Order is still legally in effect and businesses operating in violation of it are doing so at risk of enforcement action from the State or County. In addition, Council directed the City Manager and Police Chief to implement an enforcement protocol for egregious violations to increase clarity, transparency, consistency, and equity for the community. That process would involve outreach and education in collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce, potential administrative citations, and an appeal process to include community members appointed by the City Manager. Council also requested regular updates on the compliance measures and any potential budget impacts. If the County’s ICU capacity falls below 15%, Council may reconsider its direction, as that is the key criterion for the Governor’s imposition of the Stay-at-Home Order.
Allocated Funding for Economic Recovery and Business Assistance. Council allocated $235,000 in General Funds for three economic recovery and business assistance measures. First, $60,000 will be allocated to ongoing parklet support through the “k-rails”, which are the barriers protecting patrons from passing autos. Second, $100,000 will be allocated to propane heating cost assistance for City businesses incurring outdoor heating costs to remain in compliance with State and County public health operating guidelines. These funds are intended to provide up to 50% of propane costs for approximately 50 businesses for a 12-week period, though specific assistance levels will depend on the level of demand for the program, which will be administered by the Chamber of Commerce. Third, $75,000 was allocated to other economic recovery measures developed in collaboration with community stakeholders, possibly including: a local marketing campaign to encourage local residents to support local businesses; a small number of micro-grants for other types of businesses (non-restaurants); park dining costs in anticipation of a possible need for that program in warmer months; or other measures as determined via local business input. Council requested a report on expenditures and results. If additional pandemic funding becomes available, General Funds would be replenished if allowable.
Approved a Budget Process and Timeline for FY 2021-21. Council directed staff to conduct a multi-phase budget development and adoption process that fully addresses the City’s near- and long-term fiscal realities and includes a spending plan for the Measure J-20 revenues. The process will include update Council visioning and community input. Council requested that the goal-setting or visioning session occur after the fiscal results for the first six month of this budget year become available, and that staff explore the best technological tools to complete a workshop conducive to virtual community input. The full schedule can be viewed in the staff report online.
Elected John Hamon as Mayor Pro Tempore and Assigned Councilmembers to Regional Bodies, Ad Hoc Committees, and as Liaisons to Advisory Bodies. Council elected Councilmember John Hamon as the Mayor Pro Tempore and made some modifications to the liaison assignments. For the Downtown Main Street Association, Councilmember Gregory will be the lead liaison and Councilmember Garcia will be the backup. Mayor Martin will be the lead liaison for the Homeless Services Oversight Committee, and Councilmember Gregory will be the alternate. Councilmember Garcia and the Mayor agreed to actively coordinate in the role of liaison to the Chamber of Commerce and Cuesta College. The full list of liaisons, not including the above stated amendments, can be reviewed in the staff report online.
Deferred Discussion of the Supplemental Sales Tax Oversight Committee Bylaws Update and Revision and the Proposed Revisions to the Code of Ethics. Council directed staff to bring this item back at an upcoming meeting.
The January 5th, 2021 Council meeting has been cancelled. The next regular City Council meeting takes place on Tuesday, January 19th at 6:30 pm, via livestream at www.prcity.com/youtube.
There could always be a special meeting before then, given some of the issues the City is dealing with during the pandemic. Public comment can be made during the meeting by 805-865-PASO (7276) or provided prior to the meeting by emailing email@example.com.