Paso Robles City Council held another virtual meeting last night. After Fire Chief Jonathon Stornetta gave his update on the coronavirus, he reported two new cases in the county, bringing the total so far to 134. Just one person is in the hospital.
Assistant City Manager Sarah Johnson-Rios shared the results of a survey the city took related to the impacts of the government imposed shut down.
Paso Robles City Manager Tom Frutchey told the council about impacts of the government imposed shut down on the City of Paso Robles. He said the city’s accountant says the shut down put the city in a financial nose-dive for the financial year, which is July first of 2019 to June 30th of 2020. The city accountant is predicting a 4-6 million dollar shortfall in this. To address the shortfall, Tom Frutchy makes a number of immediate cuts to city spending. For instance, he froze hiring and is looking at other ways to reduce the budget deficit. Nine capital projects are put on hold, including the Warming Center on Soda Springs Road for the homeless population. Part of the issue with the warming center is the request by Cal Trans for a pedestrian underpass from the Soda Springs Road site. So, work on the Warming Center is on hold for the time being. Frutchey says the city can wait 45 days until late June to look at alternatives. The city has two potential sites on Union Road. Those were not available when the Soda Springs Road site was selected.
Mayor Steve Martin has said the budget reserve can cover the deficit spending, but the long term impact for the city may be severe. The estimate is $9 million dollars fiscal next fiscal year. Clearly, the city is going to have to look at dramatic cuts in spending to address the shortfall caused by the government-imposed shutdown for corona-virus.
Besides Coronavirus and the impacts of the government imposed shut down, Paso Robles City Council discussed and approved a 200-unit residential housing project off Linne road near Quail Run.
Mayor Steve Martin celebrated the Paso Robles City Library with a proclamation for National Library Week, although the library is closed by the coronavirus shut down. Despite the shut down, the library is reaching out with a variety of programs available to residents for free.