The Carpinteria City Council held its regular meeting on Monday, April 27 by Zoom video conference call to minimize the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus. Meeting highlights are included below and video footage of the meeting can be viewed at https://carpinteria.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=615

  • City Manager Dave Durflinger provided the Council with a lengthy update on the City’s COVID-19 Pandemic Response and Recovery. The local emergency proclamation made in March triggered the City to open its Emergency Operations Center and begin running that operation in parallel to its day-to-day services to the community. Major efforts made by the City to support the community in the pandemic include the passage of a commercial eviction moratorium, the waiving of business license fees, and the allocation of an additional $100,000 to community groups providing support during the pandemic. The City has also provided logistical support and traffic control for local food distributions, and created special curbside pick-up zones for local restaurants. Implementation of State and County guidances has also been a responsibility of the City during the pandemic, as well as coordinating with other local agencies and providing regular communications to the community. During this agenda item, the Council discussed the City’s response to increased pressure on local beaches and the difficulty of maintaining open beaches for health and wellness while ensuring social distancing practices. The Council also discussed mask-wearing recommendations. For details, please view meeting footage available at the link above.
  • At the request of Mayor Wade Nomura, the City Council elected to form an Ad Hoc Committee focused on community-wide communications during the pandemic. Mayor Wade Nomura and Vice-Mayor Al Clark will serve on the committee. Councilmembers requested that at the next meeting, a second ad hoc committee be formed to prepare for the City’s recovery from the pandemic.  
  • The Council awarded a Construction Contract for the 2020 Pavement Rehabilitation Project and Parking Lot No. 2 and Cactus Lane Improvements Project for a total budget of $2,063,629.
  • The Council received a report on the anticipated financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the current and coming years. Sales tax and hotel bed tax revenues are expected to be down substantially while the third major City revenue source, property taxes, are not expected to be affected this year or next. A worst-case scenario for the current year’s budget is a loss of $1.3 million in City revenues. There will be impacts in the next fiscal year, which starts July 1, but it is too early to predict the severity of those impacts. To save on expenses, the City has implemented a hiring freeze. 
  • The Council approved an agreement with Moffatt & Nichol to provide consulting coastal engineering services for the Dune and Shoreline Management Plan for up to $120,000. As an adaptation strategy for sea level rise, the Dune and Shoreline Management Plan would establish a living shoreline/dune complex system that is supplemented by a sediment and cobble nourishment program.