At tonight’s meeting, Solvang city staff will recommend the Solvang City Council approve the purchase of up to $50,000 to implement license plate readers and discuss surveillance camera’s implementation.
The readers and cameras would “improve public safety and marketing data collection,” according to the staff report.
The Santa Barbara City Council recently voted to install these systems at public parking lots to enhance customer service and to ensure the downtown parking system is able to pay for itself and be financially solvent, especially after the loss of revenue due to COVID-19.
The data is required to be dumped after a certain window of time. The only time data could be used is if law enforcement has a court order to do so.
The Solvang City Council will also receive a staff report for Fiscal Year 2020-21, specifically on the first quarter finances.
The presentation will include an economic COVID-19 update, an updated sales tax forecast for the city and economic recovery expectations, and sales tax and transient occupancy tax receipts including June, July and August receipts.
“The economic analysis shows that Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decreased at an annual rate of 32.9% in the second quarter of 2020,” the staff report reads. “This is the biggest drop in history. The economic crisis driven by COVID-19 has resulted in 21% nationwide decline in sales tax revenue.”
In addition, second quarter sales tax receipts dropped 20% from the previous year, but July’s were 8% higher than the prior year, “which is attributed to the state’s allowing businesses to delay payment of sales tax for six months,” the staff report reads.
“It is reasonable to expect that economic recovery will be quicker than what was experienced during the Great Recession,” the staff report concluded. Staff estimates full recovery to previous levels within three years, as opposed to the six years it took during the Great Recession.
In other business, the council will receive a report on current 5G technology presence in the city and policy and regulatory considerations for it.
Verizon only has one 5G test site in the city and doesn’t have plans to install any more, according to the staff report.
Staff will recommend council to review the city government code for wireless telecommunication facilities “and to consider the implications of this new technology and address such within the city’s permit review process and a right-of-way policy.”
The council will also receive a monthly marketing update from the city’s marketing consultant, IDK.
The presentation will discuss marketing activity, the city website, PR success stories, social media traction and the Skal Solvang campaign, which aims to “continue to create excitement and promote new activities to attract visitors through Quarter 4.”
The meeting can be viewed at www.youtube.com/channel/UC15ThpbeQv6NkgYrup61SfA, or on Channel 23, at 6:30 p.m. tonight.