Vote to Save the Templeton Fire Department Approaches
Pamela Jardini, of the Templeton Community Service District, reminded the Templeton Area Advisory Group about the upcoming all mail-in ballot facing the rural community in August. Jardini has repeatedly addressed the committee concerning the dire financial situation of the Templeton Fire Department.
The ballot initiated by the TCSD aims to save the fire department. In the past five years the TFD experienced a 75 percent increase in service calls with the majority being medical emergencies. In 2018 the station retained no overnight staffing 101 times. Of the 103 emergency calls that occurred during those nights, 14 of them went unanswered because supporting fire department from Paso Robles and Atascadero were already responding to emergencies.
The vote asks for each parcel of land — not to be confused with households — to pay a tax of $15 per month ($180 per year) with an adjusted CPI capped at 2 percent. The property tax is estimated to generate $486,000. Answering a question from board member Murry Powell, Jardini clarified that renters will not be taxed, only landowners. She stated that the levy is for properties and not individual building units on the property. For example, a parcel that contains five homes pays the same amount as a property that only has one home.
The deadline for mail-in ballots on this issue is Tuesday, August 27.
Round and Round We Go
Caltrans delivered an update on the Vineyard Drive and Highway 46 (Eric Seastrand Memorial Highway) intersection safety project. Aaron Henkel, project manager, stated that the roundabout design would be finished in August with estimated total project completion by the end of 2021.
A four-way stop was installed in July of 2017 due high occurrences of injuries and death at the intersection. The roundabout to replace the intersection will allow a safer flow of traffic and cross traffic for motorists and cyclists by dramatically slowing the approaching speed to the intersection. Ironically, minor accidents may increase as people learn to navigate the roundabout, said Project Engineer Ben Jensen, but the risk of bodily harm including death is greatly reduced. The goal of the development is to save lives not fenders.
The finished project will retain the unofficial “park and ride” at the site and 30 feet streetlights to illuminate the intersection. Henkel said that the intersection will remain open during the entire project.