Greetings, all. This is an early edition of the Friday Update. Leading off, City Hall will open to walk-in traffic on Monday, April 12! With our health metrics holding steady and more people vaccinated, City Hall’s main entrance and the front lobby of the Public Safety Facility will open at 8 a.m.
We have made a few changes, however, to our schedule to provide more consistent service balanced with building safety.
- ♦ City Hall hours are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday – Friday; however,
♦ City Hall will close alternating Fridays, beginning Friday, April 16; and
♦ City Hall will close for lunch 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
Police, Fire and Public Works Departments will continue their current staffing schedules; a senior staff member will be available in town during the week, including Fridays.
The modified City Hall schedule will allow employees to take the same 9/80 day off and lunch break so that we can provide more consistent service when the doors are open. For years, employees have had the option of working 9-hour days so they can take the 10th day off in the two-week pay period. Most employees alternate their day off on Friday so only a handful of the 8 office staff assigned to City Hall are onsite on Fridays, likewise during the lunch hour. Having everyone take the same day off and lunch break at the same time will allow for more consistent staffing when we are open.
The City Hall closure and City holiday schedule will be posted on the doors and online in English and Spanish. It is available here on the City’s website. We recognize this change may be initially inconvenient; however, my hope is that with more consistent staffing and other improvements underway, given our small size, the community will find our service levels improve.
As always, to reach City Hall by phone, please call (530) 795-4910. Or visit https://www.cityofwinters.org/contact/ for staff contact information.
♦ The State of California has prepared a helpful table of guidelines by color coded Covid-19 tier, which is available here. Yolo County remains in the Orange Tier, which allows for more indoor and outdoor activities. This table will be updated periodically as the State updates its regulations.
♦ If we continue with our downward trend, or hold steady at current metrics, Yolo County could enter the Yellow Tier by April 21! Informal outdoor gatherings can increase to 100 people, just in time for the warm weather and downtown activities. However, please continue to wear masks downtown when others are around, inside, and when not eating or drinking. The more infectious variants are gaining traction and we don’t want to slide backwards….
♦ Covid-19 vaccination FAQ information is available on the City’s website here in English, Spanish and Russian. Please feel free to print, post and distribute. COVID testing, vaccination, mask wearing and social distancing if not vaccinated are all mitigation measures that together will help control spreading the virus.
♦ Finally, the Governor has announced the goal of lifting all color coded Covid tiers on June 15, provided health metrics continue trending in a positive direction. However, mask mandates will likely be required when out in public, and there may be regulations for large public gatherings related to vaccination verification and COVID testing…
♦ Yolo County has opened COVID vaccine eligibility to 50+ years of age and to individuals 16+ beginning April 15. Supplies are still very limited but are expected to increase significantly over the course of the month so please continue to make appointments through local pharmacies, your medical provers, or a public clinic.
♦ COVID-19 testing is still a critical way to control the virus spread among asymptomatic people. Free testing is available at the Winters Community Center on a walk-in basis every Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., 201 Railroad.
The Building Division will begin in-person counter hours Tuesdays and Thursdays 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. The Building Official will be on-site on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the day. Building Official appointments are strongly encouraged by calling (530) 794-6708 or emailing Division@cityofwinters.org. The team is updating the over the counter permit program, which we hope to roll out in the near future.
To schedule a building inspection, please call (530) 794-6708. That line is answered Monday – Open Fridays. If you need to leave a message, please include your name, contact number, permit number, address for the inspection, day requested, and whether morning or afternoon is preferred. Our City Clerk Ashley Bussart is assisting with phone coverage while the inspector is in the field, so you may reach her if you call the Building Division.
Don’t Miss Out!
♦ Please participate in the survey for the updated Housing Element, which will expire on Monday, April 12. Your input is critically important. More information is available here in English and Spanish.
♦ Friends of the County Archives have some wonderful online programming if you’re looking for remote entertainment from the safety of your front porch or recliner. Please visit friendsyca.org/news/newsletter for more information. There are also recently posted presentations available through YouTube if you would like to learn more about Yolo County’s history and unsung heroes.
♦ Yolo County is looking for interested residents to apply for a variety of different boards and commissions. Joining an advisory body is a great way to get involved and contribute to the region. Please visit yolocounty.org (go to Government > Advisory Bodies) for more information.
♦ Watch for City of Winters recruitments in the near future for Planning Commission and Senior Commission on Aging. Both have seats opening up as terms end for several commissioners. Availability may depend on re-appointment requests.
♦ The City is working to open the pool for the summer season, albeit a bit late due to Covid regulations and limited funding for this fiscal year. We will open recruitments for a pool manager and lifeguards next week so if you or someone you know is interested in a summer pool job, please watch for the announcement. Our goal is to open for adult lap swim by June 1 and to include funding for pool operations in the next fiscal year budget, beginning July 1.
Did You Know?
- ♦ The Fire Department’s March newsletter is available online here. Thank you to Mariani Nut for assisting with new training equipment!
- ♦ Construction at Three Oaks Park is moving along. The landscaped areas require a 90-day maintenance period to get established, during which the contractor will close access to the area. The contractor is required to replace any damaged or unhealthy plants during that time frame. We expect the equipment in and the park to open around the end of July.
- ♦ The City of Winters and County of Yolo are working hard to secure funding for improving the I-505 overpass at Grant Avenue to improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists between the El Rio Villa neighborhood and Matsumoto Lane. This $10 million project is a high priority for the City, County, and Caltrans. Please thank the City Council, Supervisor Saylor, Assemblymember Aguiar-Curry and Congressman Garamendi for their leadership and support to secure state and federal funding for this critical project. We are still short over $9 million dollars to fund the project; however, the significant interest at the State and Federal level to support this project has been very positive. More detailed information follows this update below. The proposed schedule is contingent upon funding.
- ♦ Chevron is demolishing its existing building to make way for its new storefront. The new store will open when frontage improvements have been completed and accepted by Caltrans. (Grant Avenue / Hwy 128 is a state highway under Caltrans’ jurisdiction).
Upcoming Council Meeting
The next meeting is April 20. The agenda will include a request to modify the Main Street closure hours to better align with weekend activities; a discussion regarding the fireworks show and booth sales; and an update on opening the Boobie Greenwood aquatic center.
♦ A big shout out to the Police Department and our newest officer, Ofc Shadman, with his keen observation and quick reflexes noticed a double parked car that seemed out of place downtown early one morning . A quick pursuit ended safely, and four people were apprehended for catalytic converter thefts. The one tossed out the window pretty much sealed the arrest. None were local residents. This falls into the category of “Not in My Town!” Well done, Ofc. Shadman and PD!