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Paso Robles City Council meeting highlights for June 3 

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–Highlights from the regular Paso Robles City Council meeting held on Thursday, June 3, are as follows. The recording is available at www.prcity.com/youtube.

In compliance with social distancing, the council, staff, and the public participated via conference call. The public was invited to view a livestream of the meeting at www.prcity.com/youtube, to call into the meeting at (805) 865-PASO (7276), and to email public comment to cityclerk@prcity.com prior to the meeting.

Council did the following:

Received an update on COVID-19: The county is now in the Orange Tier of the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy (info at www.emergencyslo.org) and the governor is expected to more completely reopen the state on June 15. County vaccine clinics, including the one at the Paso Robles Event Center, will be open through June 4. Thereafter, the county will be sending out mobile vaccine clinics and vaccines will still be available at local pharmacies (info at www.RecoverSLO.org/Vaccine). Additional city services are now available, including a full slate of summer recreation and library activities. City hall and the annex are now open Monday-Thursday from 10-12 and 1-3 (more info at www.prcity.com).

Proclaimed June 4 Hunger Awareness Day – The SLO Food Bank provided information about its work in Paso Robles and SLO County and is doing a large fundraising push on June 4.

Received presentations regarding homelessness – ECHO provided a presentation of their work at the new Paso Robles facility for the homeless. The center has been open for almost six months and has already found permanent housing for 34 individuals and provided overnight shelter for hundreds more. Council commended ECHO for their work and ECHO, in turn, thanked the community for support, particularly through meal teams from Paso that provide regular meals on site. Chief Stornetta provided an update on fire mitigation work in the riverbed and Chief Lewis provided an overview of existing enforcement efforts and legal restrictions on enforcement efforts regarding homelessness.

Received a Presentation on Economic Development – Economic Development Manager Paul Sloan provided an overview of the city’s economic development efforts over the last year and plans for the year ahead. The primary areas of focus include business attraction, business retention and expansion, and workforce development.

Approved a 20-unit residential development at 298 Niblick Road – City Council approved a development plan for 20 residential units at 298 Niblick Road, including the approval of the removal of one oak tree and the approval of an increased height commensurate with nearby buildings.

Adopted annual amendments to the FY 2021-22 comprehensive fee schedule – The city charges fees for certain services that are for a particular individual or group rather than for the public at large. For most fees, the city is not allowed to charge more than the reasonable cost of providing the service or performing the activity. For some (e.g., youth recreation) the city purposefully charges less than the cost of providing the service to maintain affordability. The city adjusts fees each year to reflect any changes in the costs of providing those services best not paid for by taxes. Rather than conduct a cost of services study each year, the city bases the updates upon changes in the specific factors related to the individual service or the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The CPI percentage change for the year ending April 2021 is 3.8 percent.

Discussed and provided direction on budget development for FY 2021-22 – The city’s budget provides funding for all city services, infrastructure investments, and activities performed during the year. Council has had several public budget discussions since December, with budget adoptions scheduled for June 15. At this meeting, council received department-level budget overviews and provided direction to fund community partner organizations (currently including the chamber, Main St., and the wine alliance) at roughly a 5-percent increase from the current year, and to provide up to $20,000 to each of the three organizations to use toward specific workforce development projects.

The next regular city council meeting is on Tuesday, June 15 at 6:30 p.m., via livestream at www.prcity.com/youtube. Public comment can be made during the meeting by calling 805-865-PASO (7276) or provided prior to the meeting by emailing cityclerk@prcity.com.

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About the author: News Staff

The news staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote or edited this story from local contributors and press releases. The news staff can be reached at info@pasoroblesdailynews.com.