Paso Robles City Council met Tuesday night. It was another virtual meeting for the council.
Assistant City Manager Sarah Johnson gave a report on the coronavirus in Paso Robles. She said there’s been a recent increase in cases in Paso Robles and the surrounding area, but she does not attribute the increase to outdoor dining. She told the council the increase began July 6th, and the outdoor dining was not approved until late July.
With all the regulations imposed by the state on wearing masks, safe distancing and business operations, particularly for restaurants, Mayor Steve Martin asked City Manager Tom Frutchey, “What if the city were to just ignore the state regulations?” Frutchey says the city has a moral and legal responsibility to follow state regulations. Frutchey says in other areas in the state state regulators have visited businesses and threatened to revoke their state licenses and permits to operate a business. He also says if the city does not follow state regulations, how can they expect residents to do what the city asks? On Monday, Frutchey sent a letter encouraging people to be more attentive to rules on wearing masks, safe distancing and other behaviors intended to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
The Paso Robles City Council also held a joint meeting Tuesday night with the planning commission to conduct a public workshop on the housing element update. The group discussed a wide variety of city regulations related to development. After receiving wide-ranging input, the staff is taking the recommendations of the city council and the planning commission back to rework those items.
The council also discussed a proposal to apply for a federal grant to construct 13 miles of fiber optics in areas of the city which are not currently served. Sarah Johnson-Rios says the city will recover the cost in 5-10 years. She says internet companies pay the city to have their products and services on the fiber optic carrier. The council voted unanimously Tuesday night to give the city staff go-ahead to apply for the federal grant to build the fiber optics.