By Michelle Hido

As we start to see the light at the end of the tunnel after a long winter with the pandemic, San Miguel is ready to welcome locals and tourists to visit safely. 

The Mission San Miguel is closed, but masses are celebrated outdoors in the inner garden. 

San Miguel’s restaurants and wineries are open once again and happy to have visitors. A shared sentiment throughout is that they miss having people in their businesses not just for the sales but also for the social aspect. In a time where take-out food and wine tasting by mail has helped many businesses stay open, they are really missing the sense of community and catching up socially with local people and meeting tourists. Be sure to come and visit and let them know what you have been up to! 

Last year 46 new homes in town connected to the district’s services, and our estimated population has grown to 2,621. Currently under construction is four townhomes, with plans to build eight more. On the Bluffs, there are nine lots available for new builds. In addition, there is an approved “track map” for a project that could bring in 38 new homes. Other potential future projects could add 200-300 households in San Miguel. 

In the January Community Services District (CSD) Board meeting packet, the Machado Wastewater Treatment Facility Project Update included an analysis of land parcels that could be developed and connected to the district’s services. According to that analysis, the San Miguel CSD could be serving a population of 5,331 by 2035 and 5,720 by 2040. 

The Machado Wastewater Treatment Facility is on track with a new expansion to keep up with the town’s current and future usage. Originally built in 1985, then expanded and upgraded in 2001, the state requires further development to meet projected demand. Kelly Dodds, the Director of Utilities, is working with the district’s engineer to secure grants and funding for the project.

The Rios-Caledonia Adobe (est. 1835) has a new gateway entrance thanks to the Friends of the Adobes volunteers’ efforts and a beautification grant. Even though it is closed to the public at this time, volunteers are working on a new display describing the Salinan people’s story and installing the original 1908 safe from the Thralls & Metzler General Store that was donated.

San Miguel’s Fire Department gained four new paid-call personnel in 2020. Currently, they are in training and participating in department activities. The fire department responded to 329 calls in 2020, compared to 301 calls in 2019. The breakdown of 2020 calls is Medical calls 69.3 percent, Fire related calls 10.3 percent, Vehicle Accidents 10.5 percent, and other 9.9 percent. 

Thanks to Chief Roberson and Assistant Chief Young, the San Miguel Fire Department received a new fire engine, updated medical equipment, and tools. The new 2020 Pierce Model 34-F Type III Wildland Firefighting Apparatus is primarily used for local wildland fire response. However, it will also support out-of-district fire services, which contributes to the fire department’s funding.

The San Miguel Laundromat has installed solar panels and the first electric car charging station at 1141 Mission St, and the post office now has parcel lockers in the lobby so that packages can be picked up even after hours.

As you can see, San Miguel is growing; come visit, stay or live with us… all at a safe distance, of course.  

Getting through this together, Paso Robles