City Manager’s Update
June 11, 2021
Greetings, all. I hope you enjoy the weekend before the next sweltering heat wave comes in next week. Temperatures are expected to soar over 100 on Wednesday. Downtown has pergolas, misters, and your favorite cold beverage. Grab take out and enjoy the shade with family and friends. I saw a group playing dominoes at a table yesterday and love that the community has so many places to gather.
- To mask or not to mask, that is the question. The State issued new regulations that align with CDC guidance. Effective June 15, fully vaccinated individuals are not required to wear a mask in public (except when attending large, crowded events: 5,000 people indoors / 10,000 outside) while unvaccinated people should when 6’ physical distancing cannot be maintained. Everyone is required to wear a mask on public transportation, in healthcare settings, in schools and childcare settings, and in shelters. Businesses can also require masks if they would like. More information is available here.
However, CalOSHA, which determines workplace safety rules, has struggled with determining the appropriate level of risk mitigation in the face of significant public pressure. The previous ruling that required masks unless all meeting participants have been verified as being vaccinated has been rescinded, leaving the November 2020 emergency order in place, which essentially requires everyone to wear a mask, except in a private office. The OSHA board is meeting next week. The earliest new OSHA regulations can become effective is around June 28. Moral of the story: please be patient and respectful with businesses as they try to comply, and please be kind to one another.
At City Hall, please continue to wear a mask in common areas after June 15 and please wear a mask at public counters. Our workplace includes individuals who are immune compromised or who cannot be vaccinated; it is our obligation to ensure they have a safe work environment. Thank you for understanding.
- Owners & Contractors: The building division team is getting out and about and have discovered unpermitted work, either recently finished or in progress. Please contact the building department at Division@cityofwinters.org or (530) 794-6708 for information before starting any construction work. Counter hours are available Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. although appointments are strongly encouraged to ensure adequate time is available to discuss projects. Building Official Mark Woods and inspector Dan Cahill are happy to provide information regarding code requirements and the inspection process. More information is available here. An ADA checklist is being developed to help people understand accessibility requirements and will be posted to the Building Division landing page soon.
- Dog walkers: please be respectful of the community and clean up after your dog on sidewalks, in front yards, or along the trail. Scooping is also required at the City’s dog park. Thank you!
Don’t Miss Out!
PG&E will present the latest Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) information at the July 6, 2021, City Council meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m. PG&E has been working to harden lines, redo circuit breaks and enhance safety inspections in our area following the LNU fire last year. They’ve also implemented a new technology platform with analytics, which will help them target higher risk areas. Please note that the FIRE RISK HAZARD MAPS HAVE NOT CHANGED, and Winters is not in a Tier 1 PSPS zone so we don’t expect the town to experience PSPS shut offs during high risk days. More information is available here.
- The draft Housing Element is online here and at City Hall and the Winters Library for review. Public comments will be accepted through June 30. The City’s consultant DeNovo will present the draft document at the Planning Commission as part of a public workshop on June 22. The meeting will be conducted via Zoom beginning at 6:30 p.m. Please plan to attend to learn more about this important General Plan document that will guide City housing decisions for the next eight years. For more information, please contact Maguire@cityofwinters.org.
- Swim team registration is open! Fees are $85 per swimmer, which includes a cap. More information is available here, including link to register, the schedule, and more. Team practices begin June 21.
- Lap swim schedule is also online. More information including the link to reserve a time slot is available here. The cost is $5 for a daily pass, $50 for a monthly pass, and $40 for a 10 visit punch card. Debit / credit card payments are available at the pool or at City Hall. No cash will be accepted at the pool.
- Preparations are underway for the Winters’ Fourth of July celebration on Saturday, July 3rd! The day will kick off with a Rotary breakfast at the Community Center, hosted by the City of Winters with support by Winters Fire Department. Stay tuned for more information. Proceeds will support the Rotary Foundation’s scholarship fund and the Winters Fire Department’s holiday program for needy families. A fireworks show will be held at the high school after 9 p.m. Gates to the field will open after 5 p.m. We expect several thousand people to come into town that evening so recommend that people watch the show from their yards and local parks. Stay tuned for more information.
- A word about illegal fireworks – please don’t use them. As celebrations begin to kick off, please do not use illegal fireworks. Conditions are extremely dry and it doesn’t take much to ignite an area, especially in windy conditions. Please be respectful of the community. Use only Safe & Sane fireworks which are permitted and follow all safety directions. Don’t use them in open fields and have a bucket of water nearby. More information about the safe use of legal fireworks is available here.
Did You Know?
- Waste Management has variable can rates so you can determine how much waste you produce and what size can (32, 64 or 96 gallon) works best for your household. More information about Waste Management’s services is available here. To discuss household can size and rates, please call customer service at (866) 844-1508.
Upcoming Council Meeting
- There is a Council meeting this Tuesday, June 15, beginning at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. The packet is available here. The consent calendar includes appointing four new members to the Planning Commission (11 people submitted applications by the deadline; thank you all for your interest.); the first amendment to the agreement with Bureau Veritas for Building Division services; and work orders for technical studies to support the preparation of the Environmental Impact Report for the Skreden / Farmstead project on the north side of Grant across from E. Main Street (costs borne by the developer). There will also be a final public hearing related to the annual levy for the City-wide Maintenance Assessment District for landscaping and lighting.
There are two discussion items. The first relates to a pool facility and services agreement with SASO to manage the Winters Swim Team and provide swim lessons for the community. The staff report also includes an update on this season’s pool programming. Staff is also recommending that the City Council approve an Exclusive Negotiation Agreement with NeighborWorks for the development of affordable homeownership housing in northwest Winters adjacent to Three Oaks Park.
Congratulations to all those high school seniors that graduated this week! This has been an extraordinary fifteen months for students and their families. Kudos to everyone that supported the community’s youth and their parents during these mind-boggling and unprecedented times. Our youth are our future. From the City of Winters, we wish each and every one of this year’s graduates the very best as they spread their wings, explore the world, and lead us into tomorrow. Congratulations!