SLO County Roundup

SLO County

The county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved improvements to the regional airport’s parking and terminal operations.

Supervisors gave airport managers the go-ahead to install or upgrade lighting in Parking Lot 5, down the hill from the terminal; improve lighting for pedestrian approaches; and put in 12 stand-alone parking kiosks.

The estimated cost of those changes is $700,000.

At the terminal, supervisors authorized a $125,000 move to enclose the 500- square-foot open-air landing area outside the screening area.

In a report to the board, General Services Director Janette Pell wrote that the airlines and the federal Transportation Security Administration have warned that overcrowding at the security area “presents a potential threat for a security breach.”

Pell wrote that the airport is seeing a “growth trend” after years of low passenger turnout due to the economy and its effect on airlines.

—Bob Cuddy

San Luis Obispo

Proposed solar projects in the Carrizo Plain will undergo scrutiny at a free panel discussion Monday sponsored by the League of Women Voters.

“Boon or Bust: Solar Projects and the Carrizo Plain” will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. at the San Luis Obispo City-County Library at 817 Palm St.

Panelists include Kathy Arbeit, director of project development for First Solar Corp.; Greg Blue, director of government affairs at SunPower Corp.; and Andrew Christie, director of the local Santa Lucia chapter of the Sierra Club.

Pacific Energy Company owner/founder John Ewan and county Supervisor Jim Patterson, whose district includes the Carrizo Plain, will also speak.

Neil Havlik, natural resources manager for the city of San Luis Obispo, will moderate.

The county recently released its draft environmental impact report on SunPower’s proposed project. An EIR on First Solar’s proposed Topaz project is forthcoming.

The county Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors will be considering both projects early next year.

For more information, call 782-4040 or go to www.LWVSLO.org. —Bob Cuddy

San Luis Obispo

Caltrans maintenance workers will be testing the operation of its irrigations systems along Highway 101 from Los Osos Valley Road to Monterey Street through November.

The irrigation lines will be tested on an intermittent basis to review the computer systems that operate them. They will be activated during the daytime hours in various weather conditions.

The monthlong test is being done to ensure that the systems will remain fully operational as part of maintaining the landscaping near the highway.

No lane closures are expected.

—AnnMarie Cornejo