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Message from the City Manager, Jeffrey Epp:
The City of Escondido is emphasizing the importance of social distancing throughout our City and our operations.  While we are attempting to keep open spaces and trails open, all residents must respect the County Health Department Social Distancing guidelines.  Thus far, our community has been supportive and helpful in complying with these rules.  Our staff is making every effort to support local business and keeping our own operations on track as much as possible.  And of course, our first responders are always on duty, 24/7.  Thank you all for doing your part!

COVID-19 Information:
The City of Escondido continues to follow the State and County orders as well as direction from County health officials to help slow the spread of COVID-19. There is a dedicated page on our website where you can find our latest news releases, closures, information about City appointments, and links to resources and other agencies:
https://www.escondido.org/covid-19.aspx

This week, Escondido Mayor Paul McNamara shared a message with the community. Watch it here.

With City facilities closed to the public there are many ways to do business online with the City by using our Online Services Portal.

The San Diego District Attorney’s Office has shared various legal information in regards to COVID-19 here.

You can get preparedness tips, the latest details and a host of resources (videos, fact sheets, etc.) on the County’s website at coronavirus-sd.com. The County also has information relating to the virus on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

 

Fire Department:
The Fire Department remains at full staffing at each of our seven fire stations and EMS Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supply levels are being closely monitored.

Emergency Operations Center:
The City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has been activated to address COVID-19 specific issues. The EOC works closely with the County Office of Emergency Services, Public Health, other Law enforcement agencies (including the FBI) and all of the Fire agencies around the county to share need supplies and discuss best practices during this emergency.

The EOC is following the County’s guidelines closely. This includes keeping our parks open and the best procedures and equipment to keep our first responders safe and healthy. The EOC logistics section has been working hard to locate and obtain supplies that have been difficult to procure such N95 masks, hand sanitizer, disinfectant and other supplies that have become scarce due to the pandemic. Our EOC Operations Section continues to address public safety issues and how to continue providing services if our work force becomes depleted. Lastly, our Planning Section is looking at the future and how the city will return to normal when this emergency is over. The EOC will remain active for as long as necessary.

Police Department:
The Police Department continues to operate fully as it did last week. All uniformed police officers are working 12 hour shifts to place more officers on the streets while creating more separation of the different patrol squads to minimize contact between the squads. Dispatchers are also on 12 hour shifts to achieve the same goals. All other personnel are either staggered on work days/hours or working from home in order to minimize contact with one another.

Economic Development:
Supporting Local Businesses
There are many ways you can continue to support Escondido’s local businesses and workers. The Economic Development department has put together a list of restaurants, wineries, and breweries that are currently offering to-go food and beverage service:
 https://www.escondido.org/support-local-food-drink.aspx.

This list is updated continuously as we are informed of establishments that are open for business and offering food and drinks (including alcohol to-go with food purchase, per ABC) for takeout, curbside pickup, and/or delivery during the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. If you know of other places that are confirmed open for business, please email the business website and phone number to Business@escondido.org.

Economic Development worked with the GIS team to put together a Support Local Escondido Food and Drink Interactive Map on the Support Local Food and drink web page:


**NEW*** Click below to access the Support Local Escondido Food and Drink Interactive Map

Local Business and Workforce Resources
Updates and resources for local businesses and workers impacted by COVID-19 can be found here: https://www.escondido.org/business-news.aspx.
This information is updated continuously so check back regularly for the latest business and workforce news.

Business Sales Revenue Impact Survey
Economic Development worked with the Finance Department to send out a business sales impact survey in an effort to ascertain the local business sales and city sales tax revenue impact of COVID-19 related closures and restrictions.

Federal Stimulus Business Support Programs
Economic Development put together a synopsis with links to federal stimulus programs available to support local businesses at https://www.escondido.org/business-news.aspx.

Temporary Residential and Commercial Eviction Moratorium
The Escondido City Council will be considering protection from eviction for commercial and residential tenants financially impacted by COVID-19 at the April 8 City Council meeting.

City Clerk’s Office:
The City of Escondido is accepting applications for a potential appointment to the City Council to fill the vacancy created by the passing of Council Member John Masson. The application package is available online at https://www.escondido.org/appointment-application.aspx.

Submittals are due by April 15, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. to the City Clerk’s Office by completing the online form, emailing the completed application packet to zbeck@escondido.org, or by mailing the completed application packet to 201 N. Broadway, Escondido 92025.

Community Development:
Planning Division:
The Planning Division is also accepting project entitlement and permit submittals by appointment. Please call the Planning Division at 760-839-4671 to be directed to the appropriate planner for your project. All plan review services are continuing as before and public hearings have been shifted to an electronic format to maintain critical project timeframes.

The Planning Division received the following application this week:

  • Carvana – A conditional use permit application for a 75-foot high tower displaying vehicles sold on the Carvana website. Auto buyers would take delivery of their vehicles from the site on an appointment basis. The project site is the former Talone’s property adjacent to I-15.

Building Division:
Although City Hall is temporarily closed to the public, the Building and Planning Divisions remain open for business. Building permit applications are accepted on an appointment basis with an assigned Building Technician. Customers are directed to call the Building Division at 760-839-4647 to discuss their needs with a staff member and determine whether drop-off or some other method of receiving plans and documents is most appropriate for their building project.

Building inspectors completed 111 inspections requests last week and 146 customers were served by phone and email. All model homes for the Escondido Villages (Lennar) project were received into plan check last week.

Governor Newsome has determined that construction is an essential service that is not subject to the current shutdown. The Community Development Department remains committed to serving our customer’s needs during these difficult times to keep entitlement projects and construction moving forward.

Engineering:
Engineering staff continue to support the City’s essential services.  Construction inspection services are being provided to SDG&E’s gas main replacement project on Midway, several Cox and AT&T communications projects, and multiple housing construction projects in accordance with the Governor’s Order. In addition, work continues on major street maintenance and drainage improvement projects. The City is accepting permit applications by appointment with staff working remotely to continue processing of plans for proposed development projects.  This week, the City’s traffic signal programming is being migrated to an updated software program designed to improve analytics, communication and responsiveness.

Finance Department:
The Finance Department is working closely with our sales tax consultant and the City’s Economic Development Department to assess the economic impact COVID-19 is having on our local economy.   This information will be used to estimate the impact this pandemic is having on the City’s revenue, particularly sales tax.   Sales tax was estimated to increase by 2 percent to reach $38.9 million in the current fiscal year and accounts for 37 percent of General Fund revenue.  With many businesses fully or partially affected by the shelter-in-place order, the estimated loss to sales tax may be substantial depending on how long businesses are required to stay closed. 

Communications and Community Services:
Census 2020:
Wednesday, April 1 is National Census Day and a wonderful reminder of how important it is to complete your Census because everyone counts! It’s fast and easy to do so from the comfort of your home via the internet or telephone. Encourage your friends, family, and social networks to do the same. For more information, please visit https://www.escondido.org/census.aspx.

Virtual Recreation:
Thank you for doing your part to abide by the stay-at-home order and practice social distancing when you have to go out. We’ve put together a collection of virtual resources for health, wellness, and enrichment for all ages to keep you active and engaged from home at https://recreation.escondido.org/ Be on the lookout for virtual fitness videos from our Fitness Court Ambassadors and Partners on our Instagram page (@CityofEscondido)

Public Works:
Although Public Works operations have slowed, Public Works is operating business as usual. Streets staff are continuing to provide essential Public Works functions and complete ongoing projects.

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