City Manager hopes to keep COVID numbers low for another week and move to the Orange Tier
ATASCADERO – Atascadero City Council met on April 13 at 6:00 pm for a regular meeting. The meeting opened with an April recognition month for sexual violence awareness, received by Christina Kaviani, RISE’s education and communications director.
Kaviana spoke about RISE’s performance over the past year in the face of the pandemic, including expanding Telehealth services and taking the $ 5,000 to $ 20,000 per-customer financial support offered, largely achieved with CARES Act funding.
The next point was the approval of the assent agenda, which included the City Council draft action minutes – March 23 and March 24, weed / debris removal program, property acquisition for the Santa Lucia road bridge replacement project, annexation of the 10850 El Camino Real Subdivision in Community Facilities District 2005 -1, Annex No. 23 (10850 El Camino Real: Tract 3099) and El Camino Real Downtown Infrastructure Enhancement Plan. The approval agenda is approved 5-0. The full agenda can be viewed on the city’s website.
Rachelle Rickard, City Manager, provided the city update, covering upcoming finance committee meetings to discuss city budget. These meetings are held every Thursday from April 22 to the end of May at 3:00 pm and are open to the public. Agenda and access to the meetings will be posted on the city’s website as soon as they are available.
Highway construction will begin on April 14 and will include safety improvements to the sidewalks, curbs and sections of the roadway. Traffic is to be expected and it may be advisable to take alternative routes.
Brew in the Zoo takes place on April 24th and this is the last week to buy tickets. This event will showcase beers, ciders, honey drinks, seltzers and more and be a virtual event. Tickets are $ 65 for a package of 14 shipped to your door, and 100 percent of the proceeds go straight to the Charles Paddock Zoo.
The Atascadero Rock Snake still has the potential for the world record. The snake currently stands at about 1,300 linear feet, and the city is encouraging everyone to add a brick to the project.
Moving on with the management reports, the Council heard about the Del Rio / El Camino Real Plan Line, which, among other things, is re-adapting Ramona road so that the queuing capacity for cars is sufficient to handle the increase in traffic without blocking other roads. When some residents of the public heard comments about the project, they were concerned about the impact a roundabout would have, to which Mayor Moreno stated: “To be clear, we are not approving a roundabout tonight; that’s something we would discuss [with future projects]At that point, there would be proper notice to residents, as well as input from the fire chief.
The recommendation to the Council to adopt a motion for a resolution to approve the Del Rio Road / El Camino Real Plan Line near the US 101 interchange was approved 5-0.
The management report on the overall plan and the housing progress report was kept briefly by Phil Dunsmore, director of community development. The statistics on building permits show that 2019 saw a sharp rise as building regulations changed on January 1, 2020, but that 2020 still shows above average figures, especially given the pandemic.
The management report on the city of Atascadero Marketing highlighted the year 2020 and the many adjustments that needed to be made in light of the COVID pandemic. The city shifted from many of the scheduled events to virtual events and many promotions to help local businesses navigate the distance rules. Looking forward to 2021-2022, the city hopes to resume many of the traditional in-person events and add some new ones, such as a haunted tour of Atascadero’s historic town hall. At the moment, Dancing in the Streets will not take place in 2021, as distance from that event is not feasible.
The management report on the standards and procedures of the Board addressed some words in the document that needed clarification. The current sentence, “Any member of the Council may place an item on the agenda under Individual Determination”, was proposed to be replaced by “By individual determination, any Council member may request to place an item on a future agenda.” After discussion in the Council, it was decided that staff would take over the comments and work on a new wording to be submitted to the Council for approval.
Rickard’s COVID update shared the good news showing the city that the adjusted number of cases had reached the orange layer, which, if it persists for another week, means the city would move to the orange layer.
The next city council meeting is scheduled for April 27 at 6pm and links to participate can be found on the city’s website.
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