PASO ROBLES — Paso Robles City Council is having a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday to address fires in the Salinas Riverbed and again look at closing Downtown streets to help businesses impacted by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recent reopening rollback.

The City Council meeting will be live-streamed and available later on YouTube by accessing the following link

The special meeting agenda has only three items — two related to fires in the Salinas Riverbed and one related to revisiting temporary street closures.

Paso Robles Fire Department Fire Chief Jonathan Stornetta will be asking the Council to approve moving forward with the PRFD Salinas Riverbed Emergency Plan. According to the staff report, the City has responded to over 50 fires in the riverbed this year.


The plan authorizes the City Manager to approve private vendor contracts and accessory equipment purchases related to the hazardous fuels present in the Salinas Riverbed corridor and appropriate $278,000 from general fund reserves to fund the emergency clean-up effort.

The cost to implement the PRFD Salinas Riverbed Emergency Plan 2020 was estimated at $458,000, including additional accessory equipment needed to complete the work. City equipment will be staffed by City personnel to help mitigate costs. All departments can utilize the accessory equipment for current and future hazardous fuels abatement.

The City is eligible for $180,000 in grant funding toward this project and as a result, the $278,000 is needed from general fund reserves.

City Manager Tom Frutchey will then seek Council’s direction on its updated “Policy Regarding Removal of Garbage in the Salinas Riverbed; Cleaning-Up of Temporary Shelters; and Code Enforcement Abatement Procedure.” Council can approve the update, do nothing, or provide alternate direction to staff.

On Monday, Gov. Newsom ordered the closure of many indoor activities statewide, including dine-in restaurants, wineries and tasting rooms, movie theaters, family entertainment centers, zoos, museums, and cardrooms. In addition, bars and breweries must close both indoor and outdoor activities.

To help businesses impacted by the Governor’s decision, City Engineer David Athey will be presenting temporary street closure options that would allow restaurants and wineries to conduct business outside. One option includes closing 12th Street between Pine and Spring streets and closing Park Street between 12th and 13th streets from 5 to 10 p.m.

To view the agenda, visit