Atascadero proclaims May 2022 as National Foster Care Awareness Month

ATASCADERO—The Atascadero City Council met for their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, May 10, at 6 p.m. The hybrid meeting was held in the City Council Chambers and was followed by the council’s closed session.

At the start of the session, the council presented a proclamation proclaiming May 2022 as National Foster Care Awareness Month. 

Child Welfare Program Review Specialists Rosario Depew and Mikayla Anderson from the San Luis Obispo County Social Services Department were at the City Council Chambers to receive the proclamation. 

Getting through this together, Atascadero

“We would like to begin by thanking the Atascadero City Council for presenting the Department of Social Services with this proclamation,” Anderson said. “During the month of May, we are incredibly proud to honor all of our county’s foster and adoptive families, as well as all the county’s staff and community partners that support these families.”

The Consent Calendar passed unanimously.

The council then held a public hearing for Weed Abatement. Atascadero Fire Chief Casey Bryson gave the report. 

“This is basically the second of three steps in our weed abatement process,” he said. “The first was in April when you [the council] declared weeds a fire hazard or nuisance. And then tonight, take the time to hear any objections if people have an objection to clearing their property, and then third would be confirming the cost of the abatement process towards the end of summer.” 

Bryson said that 3,194 inspection notices, about 300 more than last year, were sent out. June 1 is the deadline for residents to have their weeds cut, then the 3,194 parcels will be reinspected, and a contractor will be used to begin the abatement process. 

“If a property was to get tagged for you to have a contractor go out and do the weed abatement, but the owner realizes now they’re going to get charged and rush out and do it, are they still going to be on the hook for any cost if they get it done before the appointment time for the contractor to come out?” asked Councilmember Mark Dariz.

“As long as they get it done between June 1 and when a constructor comes, there’s no charge,” responded Bryson.

The motion to authorize the fire chief to proceed and perform abatement work passed unanimously.

A second public hearing was held on Proposition 218 Majority Protest Process Relative to Proposed Increase to Wastewater (Sewer) Rates.

Public Works Analyst Ryan Betz presented the proposed increase. The item was originally looked at during the March 8 meeting, and a rates study was reviewed, and the Public Hearing date was set for May 10. Notices were sent out to the public in between meetings. 

The proposed increase is from $34 to $40.46 per equivalent dwelling unit (EDU). 

Only one protest was received, so the number of Bali protests received was insufficient to constitute a majority protest. 

The proposed wastewater rates were approved unanimously and will go into effect July 1.

Atascadero Police Chief Bob Masterson presented the council with a resolution regarding AB481-Military Equipment Policy, which the council briefly went over in the April 26 meeting. The bill declares that police agencies would have to declare and get approval from the City Council to have military-grade equipment. It also requires that police agencies have a policy in place and that the policy is approved by the council.

The council passed the motion unanimously to approve the policy and to continue the use of Atascadero’s military-grade equipment. 

The next Atascadero City Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 24, at 6 p.m.