Community Services Director, Frace, provides update on low-income housing

PASO ROBLES — Mayor Steve Martin presented a Thomas Frutchey Proclamation in honor of the outgoing city manager. 

After five years, Frutchey announced he would be retiring as Paso Robles City Manager during the Nov. 16, 2020 meeting. Frutchey had originally planned to retire at the end of February 2021.

Frutchey responded to the proclamation with the following words:

“I have worked in several cities, as you know, and there are several hallmarks of this community. One is the city council. I have seldom worked with a council where five members have had significantly different perspectives. Yet, all have been committed to serving the entire community, not just their constituency, and coming to agreement with the other council members, coming to a consensus to make sure that the decisions were ones that all can support. That sounds like it should be normal, it is by no means normal, and I applaud this council. You are truly being congratulated and honored by the community.

I would also like to applaud the staff. I’ve worked with many staff in the cities in which I’ve worked and in the private sector. And there are several hallmarks of this staff that are unique. Number one is for a city of 31,000 people; we have only about 180 staff on duty at any point in time. That is incredibly lean, and yet people continue to come to work day after day, do more than their fair share. There are no complaints. There is just dedication to doing what is best for the community. One of the things I noticed right away when I came here was that if one person out of 180 asked for help, there were 179 people saying, ‘how can I help? That also was very rare. 

And then finally, this community. It’s an amazing community. There are so many people who stand up to serve. They don’t ask for anything in return. They volunteer their time. They donate their money, they donate their expertise. That’s what makes community great. That’s what makes this community one that can survive the challenges, Mr. Mayor, that you talked about that we faced over the past year. And we certainly have been tested. It would have been easy for it to be something that weakened our community and weakened the council, and weakened the staff. And I can say that in almost every possible way, we have emerged from this past year stronger than when we went into it, and that’s another strength and hallmark of this community. 

It has been my extreme honor to be able to work with you and serve you. Thank you.”

Mayor Martin gave his thanks to the outgoing city manager, “Thank you, Mr. Frutchey, and we certainly do appreciate the service you rendered to our community, to our constituents, and to our counsel as well as our staff. It is deeply appreciated–I speak for the council and the entire community when I say thank you for these past five years, for the tough times, for the good times. I wish you nothing but the best for the future, and I hope we can stay in touch.”

Other council members took turns giving their thanks to Frutchey for his time serving the city, commenting on his can-do attitude and excellent work ethic.

A drive-thru send-off for Frutchey will be held on Apr. 16 from 4:30 to 5:30 pm in the library parking lot. Mayor Martin welcomes anyone to drive up and offer their thanks and well wishes to Frutchey and mentioned you won’t miss it because there will be many balloons.

San Luis Obispo Tribune staff writer Lindsey Holden gave a presentation regarding substandard rental housing in Paso Robles. 

Holden has been investigating the issue throughout SLO County. Issues that renters may endure are “mold, plumbing problems, broken windows, and household pests. Many renters are reluctant to report these issues for fear of retaliation, or due to language barriers.”

An example of such conditions that many know in Paso Robles was the Grandview Apartments on the corner of Spring Street and Niblick. The apartments recently came under new ownership and underwent an extensive renovation. 

Warren Frace, Community Services Director, followed up after Holden’s presentation with background information on the Grandview Apartment situation. 

Frace did thank Holden for bringing this issue to everyone’s attention and mentioned the city did work with her when handling the Grandview Apartments. He said they would review Holden’s comments and review what the city can do better.

When it comes to the Grandview Apartments, Frace explained that the city was aware of the poor conditions and was working to resolve the problems with the owner. However, the owner did not want to cooperate. The Grandview apartments were refurbished after being purchased by new owners and are now available for leasing, adding to available low-income housing in Paso Robles.

Frace also mentioned that the City is proactive in responding to inspection requests within 24 hours as received, but the City can only respond to complaints that are reported.

According to Frace, the City is currently active in working to provide more housing in the city, allowing for more competition in the housing market.

Consent agenda item 15: Agreement with the Paso Robles Museum Foundation for the Sale of a Portion of Pioneer Park Property and Leaseback by the City was deferred so staff could bring back more information to counsel.

Other items approved in the consent calendar included the following:

  • Approved an adjustment to the landfill rate for treated wood waste received at our City-owned landfill with fees of $61 for up to 1,000 pounds and $122 per ton for any amount over 1,000 pounds. The increases are due to new State regulations.
  • Approval of FAA Grant Agreement to receive $23,000 from the Federal Airport Coronavirus Response Grant Program. These funds will help defray the costs of additional cleaning and sanitizing of surfaces at the Paso Robles Airport.
  • Approved a 2021 field rental fee waiver for Paso Robles Youth Sports Council member leagues, acknowledging the financial hardship posed by the pandemic and the City’s desire to restore youth sports opportunities post-pandemic.

Council approved the removal of one ailing oak tree at Justin Vineyard and Winery located at 2265 Wisteria Lane. As mitigation, 11 new oak trees will be planted. 

In addition to approving the oak tree removal, council approved an amendment to the development plan, which allows the addition of two new buildings and an enhanced/landscape fencing plan to the Wisteria Lane campus.

The next city council meeting is scheduled for Apr. 20 at 6:30 pm. 

City Council meetings will be live-streamed during the meeting and also available to play later on YouTube by accessing the following link: prcity.com/youtube

Getting through this together, Paso Robles