It was a busy Council meeting on Tuesday, April 7th. The major issue of discussion was the matter of Phillips 66 plan to expand shipping of crude oil transport on the Union Pacific Railroad lines that run through the city. Railroad and Phillips 66 representatives were in attendance to answer questions. Many citizens voiced concerned about the plan. We learned that the city did not have the authority to block the shipments through the city, but the Council voted unanimously to support my motion to send letters of concern to regional, state and federal representatives and planning authorities regarding our communities concerns including impacts on local traffic, emergency services, passenger rail service and tourism. While recognizing its limitations our Council made an effective statement balancing the risks and benefits of this plan.
The Council has begun to implement one of its recent goals to use some of the city’s reserves to fix various problems. The Council voted to spend $25,000 to fix 58 malfunctioning illuminated intersection street name signs and $18,000 to replenish the wood fiber play surfacing at Sherwood Forest Park.
Avery & Associates has been selected to find candidates to consider for the replacement of City Manager Jim App. Recruitment will cost up to $21,900. Mr. App has announced he will retired at the end of the year. The recruitment and interview process is expected to take eight months. The public is invited to suggest traits and qualifications to be considered by visiting the city’s website at www.prcity.com.
Th city’s water department will get a $20,000 update to its computer software. We’ll be spending $10,644 for furnishings for the new Nacimiento Water Treatment Plant which is set to open this summer and we will be sending a check to Paso Robles Schools from Public/Education/Government (PEG) funds collected as part of Charter’s cable rates. The PEG funds will be used to fund audio-visual equipment purchased amounting to $49,000.
The Council appointed John Arnold, manager of the Holiday Inn Expres & Suites, to be a board member of the board for the new Countywide Tourism Marketing District.
In other business, the Council approved a proclamation supporting an Airport Appreciation Day event. The first one should be in 2016. The Council also heard from a representative of the SLO Regional Ridshare program about activities planned for Bike Month in May and issued four proclamations:
Sexual Assault Awareness Month, April 2015/Walk A Mile In Her Shoes Day, April 4, 2015
Child Abuse Prevention Month, April 2015/Day of the Child, April 11, 2015
Nationalo Public Safety Telecommunications Week, April 12-18, 2015
Bike Month, May 2015/Bike to School Day, May 6, 2015/Bike to Work Day, May 15, 2015