Paso Robles City Council Meeting Highlights for Tuesday, November 17, 2020
In compliance with social distancing, the City 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 email@example.com prior to the meeting.
Highlights from the Regular City Council meeting, held on Tuesday, November 17, 2020, are as follows. The City Council took the following actions:
Received an Update on COVID-19 and Discussed City Response Options. Council received an update on the number of confirmed cases at the state, county, and local levels; updated info available online. SLO County was moved into the purple, or “widespread” tier this week, resulting in the re-imposition of operating restrictions on a number of business sectors. Most City services continue to be provided virtually, while field operations continue. All indoor recreation classes and activities at Centennial Park must now be moved outdoors or discontinued. The City’s COVID-19 response and communication efforts continue. Council considered options for increasing outreach, education, assistance, and enforcement efforts in response to COVID-19. They directed staff to proceed as the City is currently proceeding with education and enforcement—meaning the ability to issue administrative citations to egregious violators—and to return to Council with the possibility of additional microgrants for local businesses if funding becomes available. They encouraged collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce on business outreach and education.
Received a Presentation about the Library’s Pandemic Response. City Librarian Angelica Fortin shared the many ways that the Library has been providing services during the pandemic, including providing extensive virtual content, virtual story time, grab and go service, reduced capacity modified service, job seeker and veteran support, and more. Virtual materials now represent a quarter of the Library’s circulation. As a result of the strength of their virtual offerings, Facebook featured the Paso Robles Library as an example of how libraries are engaging people virtually. In addition, the Library has doubled the number of internet hot spots available, added additional learning tablets with pre-loaded content, expanded wi-fi service around Library locations, and added a charging station and laptop tables for checkout. Recently, the Library served as a Ballot Drop-off location; it was the most popular drop-box in the County, receiving over 8,000 ballots. Volunteers are now returning to in-person service, and all staff and volunteers are following safety guidelines. The Mayor and Council thanked and congratulated library staff and volunteers on their robust efforts to serve the community.
Received a Capital Projects Update. Dry Creek Road Phase 1 repair is almost complete; paving began this week. This is a full-depth reclamation, meaning that the previous road surface has been removed, dirt is dug out to a 13-inch depth, mixed with cement, and then the road is fully reconstructed. This process was used years ago on north Airport Road, and has held up well. It is a much more cost-effective treatment for roads that were not built properly in the first place. The Main West Tank is fully operational; repaving of 19th Street is underway this week. The Munari Trunk Sewer emergency projection project was completed to prevent erosion during the rainy season.
Approved an MOU with San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay regarding Central Coast Community Energy. Community Choice Energy (CCE), authorized by Assembly Bill 117, is a state law that allows cities, counties, and other authorized entities to aggregate electricity demand within their jurisdictions to purchase and/or generate electricity supplies for residents and businesses within their jurisdiction while maintaining the existing electricity provider for physical transmission and distribution services. CCEs are typically created to provide a higher percentage of renewable energy electricity, such as wind and solar, at competitive and potentially cheaper rates than existing investor owned utilities, while giving consumers local choices and promoting the development of renewable power sources and local economic development. Paso Robles joined CCCE in 2019 and will begin receiving service in 2021. With Paso Robles joining CCCE, the MOU stipulates how the seats on each of the three boards CCCE boards (Policy Board, Operations Board, and Community Advisory Committee) will be shared between the cities of San Luis Obispo, Morro Bay, and Paso Robles.
Approved Contracts for the South River Road Sewer Project. This project is identified as a high priority in the 2019 Wastewater Collection System Renewal Strategy and Master Plan. A portion of an old sewer line was left in place, and five old manholes need to be abandoned to ensure that the integrity of South River Road is not impacted. In addition, approximately 650 feet of a 6-inch diameter forced main must be extended, so that it ties in downstream of Riverbank Lane to the larger diameter Templeton Interceptor sewer. Council approved a construction agreement with Raminha Construction, in the amount of $226,800, and a professional services agreement with Cannon Associates, in the amount of $54,966, to complete the project.
Approved a Design Change Order for the Golden Hill and Union Road Intersection Improvements. During design, it was determined that the scope of the project should be revised to include replacing 1,500 feet of older asbestos cement pipe with new ductile iron pipe, because the existing pipe will be unable to withstand the stresses and vibration of heavy equipment during construction. In addition, the completion of Ardmore Road north from its current end to Union Road will greatly simplify construction phasing by providing a detour route, will cut the project duration by 10-12 months, and will reduce overall construction costs by an estimated $1 million dollars. Without the completion of Ardmore Road, construction staging and traffic control impediments become complex and time consuming, and drivers would encounter significant delays. The change order, in the amount of $169,640, will allow the design scope to be modified accordingly. The project is in final design and is anticipated to be completed within the next 12-18 months.
Introduced an Ordinance to Update Municipal Code Sewer Use Provisions. Recent improvements to the City’s wastewater system are beneficial for Paso Robles industries. Most of the City’s existing local limits for wastewater coming into the City’s treatment process may be relaxed slightly, which is reflected in these code changes. This will make it easier for Paso’s industries, especially breweries and wineries, to consistently comply with the local limits without reducing the quality of the City’s recycled water supply. In addition, code changes to reflect new provisions regarding grease control will help prevent sewage spills, protecting public health and the environment. The new Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) Control Manual will guide new food service establishments on how to properly select, install, and maintain grease control devices. This will eliminate some of the uncertainty associated with starting a new food service establishment and help minimize the City’s costs for cleaning grease out of sewer lines and pump stations. The new provisions regarding private sewer systems will address a deficiency in the existing Municipal Code, making it clear to land developers that private sewer systems must be designed and constructed according to the City’s Engineering Standards. This should help minimize the City’s costs for responding to sewage spills from private sewer systems in the future.
Approved the Purchase of Public Safety 9-1-1 Communications Equipment. The City’s current communications equipment, radios, and repeaters were all purchased 2001 and are out-of-date, obsolete, and well beyond their useful life, with replacement parts difficult to obtain. In January 2017, City Council authorized engaging Black & Veatch to assist staff in preparing a needs assessment, a system recommendation report, and bid documents to replace the public safety communications system. Council authorized the City Manager to enter into contract with Motorola for the purchase and installation of the data 9-1-1 communication equipment and 10-year maintenance and lifecycle services, total costs not to exceed $4,050,339, and to enter into a contract with A-Town Audio Visual for the purchase and installation of Emergency Services radio equipment in an amount not-to-exceed $52,271. Council also requested a project completion report to come back to Council. The new communications system is projected to have a 15-year life span and will be added to the equipment replacement listing.
Accepted the City Manager’s Resignation and Thanked Him for His Valuable Service. City Manager Tom Frutchey announced at the end of the Council meeting that after five years of service to the City, his last day with the City will be on February 3, 2021. Mr. Frutchey indicated that with the passage of Measure J-20 and the imminent start of next year’s budget development process, this feels like the most appropriate time to transfer leadership of the organization to the next generation. Additional information about Mr. Frutchey’s contributions to the City and departure is available in today’s press release. Council will be determining next steps in the days and weeks to come.
The next regular City Council meeting takes place on Tuesday, December 1st at 6:30 pm, via livestream at www.prcity.com/youtube. Public comment can be made during the meeting by 805-865-PASO (7276) or provided prior to the meeting by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.