Council approves redistricting map and five-year strategic plan for Paso Robles Fire and Emergency Services

PASO ROBLES — Paso Robles City Council held a public hearing for redistricting during its Tuesday, Apr. 5, City Council meeting. Every 10 years, City Council election districts must be redrawn so that each district is substantially equal in population. This process, called redistricting, is important in ensuring that each City Council member represents about the same number of constituents. 

The hearing was held promptly at 7 p.m., and was the fourth public hearing on redistricting maps. The redistricting process for the City of Paso Robles must be completed by Apr. 17.

Redistricting hearing timeline:

On Aug. 3, 2021, City Council received a report from staff on the redistricting process and permissible criteria to be considered to redraw district boundaries. A public hearing was conducted to receive input on district boundaries. 

Getting through this together, Paso Robles

On Oct. 5, 2021, another public hearing was held before the release of draft maps identifying “neighborhoods,” “communities of interest,” and “secondary areas.” 

Then on Mar. 1, 2022, council discussed and revised draft maps. It was agreed to hold another redistricting meeting on Apr. 5 to identify a preferred map. 

Council unanimously approved and adopted the Green Map. The Green Map is the most similar to the current district map out of the two other options. The new district map will be used in the 2022 general municipal election.

For more information on redistricting process in Paso Robles, visit www.prcity.com/770/City-Council-Districts 

Following approval of the redistricting map, council heard a presentation on the Paso Robles Fire and Emergency Services (PRFES) community risk assessment and five-year strategic plan. 

The Insurance Services Office (ISO) reviews the fire protection resources within communities and provides a Community Fire Protection Rating system from which insurance rates are often based. The rating system evaluates three primary areas: the emergency communication and dispatch system, the fire department, and the community’s pressurized hydrant system. The overall rating is then expressed as a number between 1 and 10, with 1 being the highest level of protection and 10 being unprotected or nearly so. As of the latest survey (2020), ISO gave PRFES a rating of Class 3/3X (x equates to 10).

The analysis completed during this study revealed a number of findings:

  • Total response workload has increased 32 percent over the past 10 years.
  • Fifty-six percent of all responses are requests for emergency medical service.
  • Response workload is greatest in the Fire Station 1 service area.
  • The current fire department services utilization rate is 134 incidents per 1,000 population. This is higher than typical for similar-sized communities.
  • The amount of time response units spend traveling to an incident frequently exceeds City Council adopted response goals outlined in the 2001 Growth Management Plan.
  • 50.5 percent of priority incidents within the PRFES service area met its four-minute response time goal (2021).
  • The outer portions of the PRFES service area cannot be provided with the effective response force within the time specified in the City of Paso Robles Growth Management Plan adopted performance goal.

The full strategic plan can be found here prcity.com/DocumentCenter/View/33481/April-5-2022-City-Council-Agenda-Item-11-PDF

Council unanimously endorsed the PRFES community risk assessment/standards of cover and five-year strategic plan. 

Council then unanimously voted to reinstate the Fourth of July Community Fireworks Celebration at Barney Schwartz Park. The city has not held the firework show since 2012, but it was an extremely popular event for Paso Roblans, bringing close to 20,000 people to the show. In 2014, the event moved to the downtown area in coordination with the city’s 125th-anniversary celebrations. July Fourth celebrations were suspended after 2014 when the volunteer group spearheading the event disbanded and event staging costs escalated.

Staff has developed a preliminary event plan and budget to stage the traditional celebration at Barney Schwartz Park on Monday, Jul. 4. The planned event will feature children’s activities, a military flyover, and a 20-minute fireworks show. Camp Roberts is partnering with the city and assisting with needed volunteers and a military flyover.

On Tuesday, Mar. 15, Travel Paso voted to commit $50,000 toward the event. The total event cost is estimated at $110,000. 

The next city council meeting is scheduled for Apr. 19 at 6:30 p.m.