City’s Fourth of July Community Fireworks Celebration coming back this summer bigger and better

PASO ROBLES — The Thorndyke Business Park was approved to move forward by Paso Robles City Council during the Tuesday, March 21, meeting. The 2.6-acre project is located at 2701 Germaine Way, on the northwest corner of Wisteria Lane and Germaine Way. 

The new project consists of six lots sized to allow light industrial or commercial development. It was approved unanimously by City Council.

Also discussed and approved by council Tuesday night was this summer’s Fourth of July Community Fireworks Celebration at Barney Schwartz Park. After returning last year for the first time in time in 10 years, the celebration was successful and is being brought back bigger and better this year.

Plans for this year’s celebration include two festival-style concerts, and more family activities all free to the public. The 20-minute firework show will return and the city plans to add a military flyover for the event. Ravine Water Park owner Brett Butterfield has offered free parking use of his parking space across from the park on Union Road. 

It is anticipated that Travel Paso will be contributing $50,000 to the event. The city anticipates to pay $65,000 from general funds to pay for the event but still expect sponsors to join in, as they did last year, to result in about $5,000 to the event.

The estimated total event cost including labor, materials, and equipment is $151,000. Carryover funds from the 2022 event total $35,567 and Travel Paso is anticipated to contribute $50,000 to the event. 

El Camino Homeless Organization (ECHO) provided council with its second quarterly report as part of the city’s agreement with the nonprofit. In May 2022, the city agreed to grant ECHO $444,000 over the course of two years. The nonprofit is granted approximately $55,000 after each quarterly report. All of the funds the city provides ECHO go directly towards supporting staffing at the Paso Robles Campus, however, it only covers 25 percent of the nonprofit’s staff costs at the Paso Robles location.

The second quarterly report covers ECHO’s data from December 2022 through February 2023. In that time, ECHO had 4,228 shelter stays, 662 individuals that did not receive a room, and had 330 unduplicated nightly shelter stays. In those three months, 10 people found housing and 15 found employment. In February, 37 people enrolled in ECHO’s 90 day program.

More data collected in the last three months include:

  • Dinners served: 7,778
  • Showers provided: 275
  • Food bags given: 750
  • Referrals to mental health: 5
  • Referrals to drug/alcohol: 3
  • Referrals to other resources: 19
  • Laundry service on-site: 144

Two ECHO success stories were shared Tuesday night. The first was Kyle, who was left crippled and mentally depleted after a lifetime of drinking. Kyle did enter rehab and remained sober despite facing homelessness. After returning home to the Central Coast, Kyle came to the ECHO Campus in Paso Robles. After hard work, Kyle has found housing with the help of ECHO.

The second success story was Yocelin who came to ECHO in September 2022. Yocelin was a single mother of two children under 1 year old. She entered the 90-day program and found employment and saved enough money to find a safe room to rent with her two daughters.

ECHO’s full report including call logs and financial report can be found here

The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 4, at 6:30 p.m.