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Paso Robles City Council meeting highlights from March 17 

Paso Robles City Council meeting practicing social distancing under fears of COVID-19

Unprecedented scene of the Paso Robles City Council meeting practicing social distancing .

–In compliance with social distancing, Mayor Martin, Councilman Strong, and City Manager Frutchey participated via conference call. The public was given the opportunity to view a livestream of the meeting, invited to call into the meeting at 888-867-1694, and to email questions or comments.

Highlights from the City Council meeting on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 are as follows. The City Council took the following actions:

Convened the Disaster Council. Chair — Mayor Steve Martin, Vice Chair — Tom Frutchey, Police Chief — Ty Lewis, Emergency Services Chief — Jonathan Stornetta

Declared a State of Local Emergency. The Disaster Council and the City Council adopted a resolution entitled “A Resolution of the Disaster Council and City Council off the City of El Paso de Robles proclaiming a local emergency regarding novel coronavirus (Covid-19) and ratifying the proclamation of local emergency by the City Manager.” During the existence of a local emergency, the Emergency Services Director is authorized to take any and all actions in furtherance of emergency powers to address the emergency.

Received a Coronavirus Pandemic Update from Emergency Services Chief Jonathan Stornetta. Chief Stornetta reported 6 cases of Covid-19 in San Luis Obispo County as of today, with none reported so far in Paso Robles. The City’s Emergency Operations Center was activated, and City services have been reduced to only the most essential to protect the public and staff from exposure.

Allocated Senate Bill 1 Funds for Fiscal Year 2020-21. The City expects to receive $590,000 in Senate Bill 1 funds for fiscal year 2020-21 to improve the level of street maintenance. Council identified the street and sidewalk projects in the Zone 4D/Nicklaus area to be completed with SB1 funds.

Authorized the City Manager to approve a purchase order in the amount of $58,850 to Earth Systems. Earth Systems will provide compaction testing services for the Spring Street water and sewer pipelines from 24th to 36th Street. This testing will ensure that sewer and water pipes as well as fiber optic conduit were installed properly in the recent replacement project on Spring Street.

Approved a reimbursement agreement with SLO County for the Dry Creek Road repairs project. The reimbursement agreement will allow the full length of Dry Creek Road to be improved from Airport Road to Jardine Road, providing a fully maintained road for the next 10-15 years.

Approved a General Plan Amendment, Conditional Use Permit and associated Mitigated Negative Declaration allowing the development of a 48-bed, 7,525 square-foot homeless services center at 3100 Sulphur Springs Road. Council also introduced for First Reading by Title Only an ordinance amending the Zoning Code and Zoning Map consistent with the General Plan Amendment.

Authorized Staff to Commence the Proposition 218 Process for Solid Waste Collection Rates. Proposition 218 requires the City to offer commercial and residential customers as well as Paso Robles property owners the opportunity to protest a rate increase for solid waste collection rates. Paso Robles Waste and Recycle, the City’s solid waste provider, wishes to increase rates to address the difficult financial market created by significant changes in the recycling industry and rising costs of labor. Although PRWR initiated a variety of efficiency measures in response to these challenges, the company operated at a loss in 2018. The franchise agreement with the City calls for a reasonable rate of return, considered to be about 10%. Council approved a proposed rate increase package that includes the following:

7-1-2020 – 8.80%
1-1-2021 – 8.78%
7-1-2021 – ——–
1-1-2022 – 6.00%
7-1-2022 – ——–
1-1-2023 – CPI
7-1-2023 – ——–
1-1-2024 – CPI
7-1-2024 – ——–
Compounded – 25.45%

Notice of these proposed rate changes must be mailed at least 45 days prior to the public hearing.

This represents just a summary of the total actions by the Council. The full agenda can be found at and the audio from the meeting can be found at livestream The minutes will be available as part of the packet for the City Council’s next regular meeting.

  • Planning Commission for March 24th has been canceled.
  • Youth Commission for April 1st has been canceled.
  • The next regular City Council meeting takes place on Tuesday, April 7 at 6:30 pm. Residents are encouraged to view a livestream of the meeting and are invited to call into the meeting at 888-867-1694 to provide public comment or to email public comment to prior to the meeting.
  • Click here for the latest Paso Robles COVID-19 updates and on the city’s website here:


About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at