Mayor talks street repairs, parking, cannabis
Where are we going? Here’s the scoop! We’ve revised and finalized the goals statements for the City following a day-long workshop that drew a large number of citizens from a varied cross-section of the community. It was a very positive process that dove-tailed well with our recent citizens’ survey. (See all the adopted goals and policies.)
Citizens Oversight Committee/Street Repairs: The Supplemental Tax Oversight Committee (STOC) will be holding a Public Workshop on March 21st at 6:30 pm in the Council Chamber to review the 7-Year Street Repair Plan and discuss any recommendations to the Council. This will be an informational meeting as well, so the public can have a better understanding of road issues, repair strategies, and funding. Get more information about scheduled street repairs here, and learn more about how it’s done here.
Three cheers for our Paso Robles City Library Master Plan. After months of study and input by local citizens and our architectural consultant, we have the blueprint for re-configuring the library and expanding certain functions into the second floor of our City Hall/Library complex at 1000 Spring Street. The floorplan of the library will increase by 20% and will include a new children’s area, Teen Center and quiet spaces. The book “stacks” and other features on the ground floor will be reconfigured to provide a more open, useful area. The expansion will cost about $4-million (compared with $14.2-million to construct a new building). See the master plan here.
Downtown parking? Good problem? Bad problem? Doesn’t matter. A lot of you (in the citizen’s survey and during goal-setting) said it IS a problem. We’re doing something about it. We are reviewing the various parking studies of the past and looking at “out-of-the-box” solutions to creating more spaces. Re-striping projects have already added more than 80 spaces to the downtown. Now we will look at ways to finance a parking structure. They said it couldn’t be done but, as we all know, in Paso Robles the impossible just takes a little more time.
Mid-Year Budget Review and adjustments looks positive. Revenues are at projected levels and City departments are holding expenditures slightly lower than expected. Our support for firefighting efforts in the major conflagrations in northern and southern California created some unexpected red ink, but we expect to be compensated for those expenditures.
The Cannabis conversation continues. With the recent approval of usage at the State level, it became necessary to reconsider local ordinances. We have been allowing the mobile distribution of medical marijuana products within the city. The new law requires that such services have brick-and-mortar headquarters to operate legally. We have put an urgency ordinance in place to allow mobile delivery services that meet the city ordinance requirements to continue functioning. We have also initiated a regular ordinance to determine zoning for these brick-and-mortar facilities. That ordinance will have to go through the Planning Commission and the City Council with the usual opportunity for public input. There will, doubtless, be much more conversation locally as we adapt to a reality where recreational marijuana products are also legal. Expect a citizens’ task force to be formed to advise the Council.
Spring is upon us and we’ve been blessed with some refreshing rain. It’s modest, but every little bit counts and, thanks to the quick re-filling capacity of Lake Nacimiento, it will add significantly to our local water supplies. Remember: the lake is only one of THREE sources of water serving Paso Robles. A fourth source, recycled water, will soon be available also. These supplies provide us with adequate water for the City as we build towards the population cap specified in the General Plan. Remember: watering restrictions have been eased, but it’s always a good idea to conserve.
Speaking of Lake Nacimiento, we have provided information to the Joint Powers Authority that oversees the bonding for the Nacimiento Water Project to facilitate the refinancing of $30-million in bonds. This will produce a substantial decrease in carrying charges, lowering the overall cost of this project.
Congratulations to Firefighter/Paramedic Joel Platter. He is our City’s Firefighter of the Year. We commend Joel Platter for his hard work, passion, determination, and contributions.
We have determined the annual distribution of Community Development Block Grant funds that accrue to our City. More than $30,000 will be shared by CAPSLO/Adult Day Care, Lifestyles Recovery Center and the ECHO Homeless Shelter. More than $142,000 will be used to install handicapped ramps in Oak Creek Park.
So much happening and so little time to talk about it. But, don’t worry, there are more Mayor’s Blogs on the way!
Until next we blog, here’s to you Paso Robles!