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Paso sheds light on trails 

The Paso Robles City Council recently took steps to begin repair work and improve safety and maintenance on trails along the Salinas River.

After feedback from residents and businesses that sit near the trail, the council decided at its Nov. 5 meeting to continue with ongoing trail improvement efforts by approving $19,000 for a series of one-time repairs. The council opted not to approve $45,000 for annual maintenance, citing a tight budget and the potential for volunteer work to meet needs.

The city has used state and federal grants to build and improve three connecting trails that run along the Salinas River, increasing pedestrian safety and erosion control along the way.

The access has been joined by recurring problems. Vandals have smashed lights, dismantled benches, and left graffiti. Some parts of the trails wind near homeless encampments. Landscaped plants have died.

In the meantime, residents like Jim Fotinakes, a former principal at Templeton High School, worry about safety concerns.

“I believe that it is a significant public safety issue, or it will be,” Fotinakes said, citing the isolated nature of parts of the trail. “I think something is going to happen on that trail.”

-- Melody DeMeritt - former city council member, Morro Bay

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