The Atascadero City Council met in public session on Tuesday, February 6 to approve a resolution for the Atascadero Police Department to apply for a SAFER grant. The application asks that they be given $25,000 toward purchasing body cameras and other equipment.
The resolution to accept and receive the 2020-2021 Audit Report was overwhelmingly approved.
ATASCADERO — ATASCADERO — ATASCADERO — On Tuesday, Jan. 25, at 6 p.m., the Atascadero City Council had its regularly scheduled meeting. It was preceded by a closed session of the City Council.
The evening’s agenda, as well as the consent calendar, which included the Jan. 11 Draft Action Minutes and the September 2021 Investment Report, were unanimously approved.
Richelle Rickard, the City Manager of Atascadero, spoke before the Council.
We’re going to get through this together, Atascadero
On Friday, Jan. 28, the City Council will have a Special Economic Development session from 1 to 5 p.m., and the City Council and Planning Commission will hold a General Plan Scoping Session from 6 to 9 p.m.
“Both sessions will be place digitally, and the public is urged to attend and participate,” Rickard added.
A public hearing was held to discuss the removal of a dangerous Heritage Coast Live Oak. The property owner requested that the subject be moved to the Council’s February 22 meeting; no public comment on the tree’s removal was made. A move was made to table the subject until the February 22 meeting. It was approved.
Administrative Services Director, Jeri Rangel, gave the Council a management report on the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Audit. “The auditors agreed that financial statements were presented fairly and in compliance with the county principles. The city’s financial performance was positive overall,” said Rangel. The resolution to accept and receive the 2020-2021 Audit Report was overwhelmingly approved..
Casey Bryson, the Atascadero Fire Chief, then spoke to the Council about filing for a SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) Grant. The SAFER Grant, if granted to the city, would cover the cost of three additional firemen for three years. The overall grant amount is projected to be about 1.5 million dollars. The award is handled by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) (FEMA). It’s a competitive program that aims to assist fire departments around the country boost their personnel numbers.
“In the past, Atascadero has sought for and received SAFER Grants, most recently in 2018,” according to Bryson.
At the moment, the Atascadero Fire Department has 18 full-time firemen on duty, divided into three shifts of six firefighters each, with three firefighters at each station.
“There’s no guarantee that we’ll get the three if we apply and obtain this grant, but if we do, it’ll be one [firefighter] every shift, for a total of seven.” This does not imply that our minimal staffing will be increased. “We’d still keep the six,” Bryson said. “By adding one person, that seventh fireman, we will be able to safeguard the six firefighters on duty at all times.” When one fireman goes on vacation or is injured, the seventh firefighter can handle the bulk of the extra shifts. Rather than putting on an extra fireman from another shift, the seventh firefighter will be able to handle the bulk of those calls. In most circumstances, I believe 50 to 75 percent of the time, depending on the other members of that crew’s capabilities.”
The Fire Chief was authorized to apply for the grant, and the City Manager was authorized to sign a SAFER grant contract, according to the Recommendation to the Council. Mayor Pro Tem Newsom supported Councilmember Bourbeau’s motion to authorize applying for the funding. The motion was unanimously approved.
The next meeting of the Atascadero City Council will be place on Tuesday, February 8 at 6 p.m.
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