KING CITY — Local assets could soon be utilized to further combat the Covid-19 pandemic and annual events may trickle back into operation as time goes on, as announced by city leaders during the latest King City Council meeting on Feb. 9.

During his Covid-19 update to the council, City Manager Steve Adams said city leaders in the four South Monterey County cities are working with Mee Memorial Healthcare System to get the word out to residents about vaccines being available at that site.

On Thursday, Mee Memorial Hospital in King City acquired an ultra-low temperature freezer from Monterey Bay Aquarium for storing the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, allowing the facility to administer more vaccines to residents. Previously, the hospital could only provide the Moderna vaccine.

In addition, Adams noted the Salinas Valley Fairgrounds has been “designated as a future mass vaccination site” but that “no events have been scheduled yet.”

Current housing and utility assistance programs are drawing to a close, Adams said, but county and state programs with expanded timelines are in the works.

“We did just apply for an additional small grant of $20,000 for funding for one-time rental assistance and that was approved,” he said.

The constant shutdown of venues might soon transition away as restrictions get lifted. With King City being in Monterey County’s purple tier rating for health restrictions, some facilities may consider reopening now.

“Staff is preparing for opening of the pool this summer,” Adams said. “We don’t think we’re going to have the budget restrictions that prevented us from opening last summer. It is currently allowed under state and county Covid restrictions; however, there will be a number of restrictions that we will need to comply with and capacity will be limited, so the program will look different than prior summers.”

Councilmember Rob Cullen reported information about upcoming events happening at Salinas Valley Fairgrounds.

“The wine competition is going to take place this year unless something happens between now and March 13 and March 14,” Cullen said, who noted he is one of the volunteers for the Monterey International Wine Competition.

Cullen also said the fairgrounds is planning the kickoff dinner for the Salinas Valley Fair as a drive-thru event on April 17, with a virtual silent auction held the same day in lieu of the in-person format.

He also commented on the agenda item of the city’s memorandum of understanding with Sol Treasures for the coordination of entertainment at the future downtown plaza.

“It’ll be a model partnership and I could already envision the many ways that the downtown plaza could be used by Sol Treasures,” Cullen said. “It’s going to be an immediate injection of energy and positivity.”

Councilmember Darlene Acosta said she looked forward to not only Sol Treasures, but other local groups, such as Monterey County Dance Theatre, being able to host performing arts and music within the city once again when things eventually reopen.

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Sean Roney is a freelance reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for the Salinas Valley communities in South Monterey County.


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