Monthly e-newsletter for County Employees: Delivering results, putting policy into practice 
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December 2016      |     Volume 1     |     Issue 12

Top Stories from the County in 2016

The New Year is right around the corner, so we're taking a look back at some of the most-read stories that were featured in the County's e-newsletters in 2016. Enjoy!

1. Announcement of Diablo Canyon Closure

Diablo Canyon aerial photoPG&E shocked the community when it announced the impending closure of Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant in July. So it's no surprise that, combined, the two e-newsletter stories on this topic made Diablo Canyon the most-read topic of the year. The County and the community made their concerns known and worked together to develop a compromise that would ease the local impacts of the plant's closure in 2025. These were the two stories on that topic this year:

2. Animal Services Rescues 44 Dogs from Unsanitary Conditions 

three-legged dogCounty Animal Services seized almost four dozen dogs from an Atascadero home in August in coordination with the Atascadero Police Department. About half of the dogs were found to have physical or medical conditions that needed treatment. The homeowner was arrested the same day on suspicion of felony animal cruelty. 


3. County Proclaims Local Emergency Due To Chimney Fire

Chimney fire photoThe Chimney Fire burned more than 46,000 acres in the fall of 2016 in the northern region of San Luis Obispo County, south of Lake Nacimiento. While no one was killed in this destructive blaze, thousands of people had to evacuate and nearly 2,000 structures were threatened. Just under 80 structures were damaged or destroyed, including 49 residences. 

4. County Seeks to Level Playing Field for Vacation Rentals

Victorian houseIn an effort to give all vacation rentals an equal chance to succeed, the County began working with a contractor to help enforce regulations on vacation rentals operating without a valid lodging business license in the unincorporated areas of the County. This partnership will make it easier to collect Transient Occupancy Taxes (TOT) from residential property owners who rent out their homes or secondary dwellings. The partnership will also allow the County to enforce important building codes.

5. Water Reservoir Levels Lower Than Usual

graph bar chartAlthough 2016 was California's wettest year since the drought began five years ago, dry conditions persisted in San Luis Obispo County. In fact, in February 2016, County staff reported that water reservoir storage levels were lower than average for that time of year. The County's Drought Task Force monitored the effects the drought had on our region throughout the year and provided monthly updates detailing the local drought conditions to the public and the Board of Supervisors

6. County Balances $574.7 Million Budget

budget coverThe County’s budget includes a comprehensive spending plan guided by input from County departments, elected officials, stakeholders and the community. The Board of Supervisors prioritized public safety and health and human services when it approved a total spending level of $574.7 million in June 2016. This was an increase of less than 1 percent over the current fiscal year. The new budget took effect on July 1.  

7. Hundreds of Marijuana Grows Registered in SLO County

marijuana plantsMarijuana cultivation was a smokin' hot topic in 2016. In September, the Board of Supervisors approved an urgency ordinance that serves as a temporary ban on any new marijuana cultivation sites in all unincorporated areas of the County, with few exceptions. Cultivators were required to register with the County and, by Nov. 18, more than 400 had done so. County staff is now in the process of developing a permanent ordinance regulating marijuana in San Luis Obispo County.

8. Los Osos Water Recycling Facility Completed

los osos water recycling facilityThe Los Osos Water Recycling Facility was officially completed in March 2016, but the community celebrated in April with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house. This facility is a part of the new wastewater treatment system for Los Osos and will help resolve the water resource shortage and groundwater pollution in the small community. The project was completed in an environmentally sustainable and cost-effective manner. 

7. County Ends Fiscal Year in Healthy Financial Position

dollar bill graphicOfficials reported that nearly all County operating departments ended fiscal year 2015-16 at or below their budged level of General Fund support, which contributed to about $8.3 million in savings to the General Fund (or taxpayer dollars).  

10. Survey Seeks to Identify Needs of Local Women

graph bar chartAn advisory body to the Board of Supervisors is working to enhance the quality of women's lives by identifying key issues women face here in SLO County. There's still time to take the survey, as it closes on December 31.
Copyright © 2016 County of San Luis Obispo, All rights reserved.

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County of San Luis Obispo · 1055 Monterey Street · San Luis Obispo, CA 93408 · USA