Joe Allen announced as the new interim police chief  

ATASCADERO—The Atascadero City Council met for their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, June 27, at 6 p.m. The hybrid meeting was held in the City Council Chambers.

The agenda for the evening passed with a unanimous vote.

“Before we move on, I want to welcome back and introduce, if you don’t already know him, our interim Chief of Police, Joe Allen,” said Mayor Heather Moreno. “Joe Allen was with us for many years and retired a few years back as commander, and we’re glad to have him back for this interim position.” 


As of now, the city is still searching for the perfect fit for a permanent police chief for Atascadero.

The Consent Calander also passed unanimously after Moreno pulled item number four: Reject Construction Bid and Re-evaluate Design Options for Downtown District Pavement Rehabilitation Project. She pulled the item due to the California State Legislator passing a law stating “any elected official that receives a donation in excess of $250 must recuse her or himself from voting on any particular item if it happened in the last 12 months.” Item four also passed unanimously without Moreno’s vote once she removed herself from the room.

At the end of Updates from the City Manager, Rachelle Rickard invited Public Works Director Nick DeBar to speak on item four on the Consent Calendar, Rejecting the bids on the Downtown Paving Project. Staff will re-evaluate and repackage the project before going back out to bid. It’s possible that the project might start in late summer. 

DeBar then addressed the council with the first public hearing on the agenda: Adopting Sewer Service Charges to be added to the 2023-2024 Property Tax Rolls. 

“This year, there’s 5,554 parcels, and the assessment total to a little over 4.7 million dollars. Residents that are connected to the sewer, and keep in mind only about half of the parcels in town are connected to the city sewer. The others are on septic or undeveloped. But we’ll see on their property tax statement an ATA as a sewer charge. And the county deadline for us to submit this is July 20,” stated DeBar.

Even with the raising of the sewer rates, Atascadero has some of the lowest rates in the area. The motion passed unanimously.

The sending Public Hearing, Community Facilities District 2005-1 Annexation No. 25, was presented by Community Development Director Phil Dunsmore.

“This is that process that we’ve become familiar with over the last few years, which is known as the Community Facilities District Annexation,” Dunsmore said. “This particular one involves the Market Place Project, which is the project that’s now developing at the corner of Del Rio and El Camino Real.”

Back in May of this year, the city approved the intent annex resolution, which is the first step in the process. The motion passed unanimously.

The meeting then moved into the first management report of the evening, which was the Irrevocable Right to Use Agreement for Broadband Infrastructure. Deputy Director of Economic and Community Development Lorelei Cappel gave the report.

“We will be taking a huge leap forward in the implementation of the North County Broadband Strategic Plan, which we adopted in April of 2023 in conjunction with Paso Robles,” said Cappel.

When the item was opened up to Public Comment, community members came forward, thanking the council for moving forward with broadband in the city. 

The motion for the council to authorize the city manager to execute an agreement substantially in the form accompanying this staff report as attachment one with Astound Broadband for the irrevocable right to use fiber network for broadband infrastructure with 10 TBS internet access connection maintained by Astound. The motion passed.

Next, DeBar returned with the Atascadero Transit System Modification. 

“The recommendation tonight is for council to approve Atascadero Transit Service Modifications providing service to populations requiring special transportation assistance and to file claims for funding through local transportation funds under Article 8,” stated DeBar.

The motion passed unanimously.

The next Atascadero City Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 11, at 6 p.m.