SANTA BARBARA COUNTY
County reports 34 new COVID-19 cases
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department reported 34 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, with 32,703 total cases now confirmed and 183 cases still active and contagious, according to county public health data.
A total of 430 COVID-19 deaths has been confirmed in the county, with no additional deaths reported Wednesday.
Forty-two individuals are currently hospitalized for COVID-19, including 14 individuals in the intensive care unit.
As of Wednesday, over 500,000 COVID-19 tests have been performed in the county, according to public health data.
In Santa Maria, 62 out of 11,041 total cases remain active and 150 individuals have died.
In Orcutt, eight out of 1,723 total cases remain active and 28 individuals have died.
In Lompoc, 19 out of 3,432 total cases remain active and 49 individuals have died.
In the Santa Ynez Valley area of Solvang, Buellton, Los Olivos, Los Alamos, Santa Ynez and Ballard, eight out of 974 total cases remain active and 17 individuals have died.
In the North County area of Sisquoc, Casmalia, Garey, Cuyama, New Cuyama and Guadalupe, six out of 1,253 total cases remain active and 22 individuals have died.
Clos Pepe Vineyards listed for $9.75 million
Longtime vintners Stephen and Cathy Pepe have listed their 41-acre Clos Pepe Vineyards in Lompoc for $9.75 million, according to Coldwell Banker Realty.
The family-owned vineyard and estate, located near the middle of the Santa Rita Hills Appellation on Highway 246, is known for producing award-winning pinot noir and chardonnay wines.
The listing describes the estate as a two-story, four-bedroom, Tuscan-style villa that offers panoramic views of vineyards and gently rolling hills dotted with cattle. The property also features a barn, second residence, pool and spa, and fruit trees.
The Pepes purchased the property in 1994 and harvested their first crop of grapes in 1998, the same year they planted the rest of their 29-acre vineyard.
Napa Valley-based producer Walt Wines in March 2015 signed a 15-year lease with the Pepes upon their retirement, assuming temporary rights to the grape lineage under the Walt label.
SANTA BARBARA COUNTY
Vaccination questions due Friday for town hall
Residents of the Santa Ynez Valley and surrounding areas have until Friday to submit their questions about COVID-19 vaccinations to be answered by county health and elected officials in a virtual town hall meeting set for 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Congressman Salud Carbajal, state Sen. Monique Limón and Santa Barbara County 3rd District Supervisor Joan Hartmann are hosting the virtual meeting that will include panelists Van Do-Reynoso, director of the Public Health Department, and Dr. Henning Ansorg, county public health officer.
The meeting on Zoom will be moderated by Mike Hodgson of the Santa Ynez Valley News and Raiza Georgi of the Santa Ynez Valley Star.
The five panelists will answer questions about any aspect of COVID-19 vaccinations submitted by noon Friday to Hodgson at firstname.lastname@example.org or by 3 p.m. directly to county staff at BIT.LY/3CV342E.
Members of the public can view the town hall via Zoom at http://bit.ly/COVIDvth or listen on their phones by calling one of three toll-free numbers: 877-853-5257, 833-475-4499 or 833-548-0282.
Utility payments now accepted via phone; online billing not yet active
Lompoc utility payments now are being accepted by phone, although online billing is not yet active, according to city officials.
Customers also can pay by mail and via the parking drop box located near the entrance to City Hall.
Unforeseen issues with the transition to a new financial management system triggered a payment nonacceptance time period from Feb. 8 to March 16.
The transition marks one of the final phases in the implementation of the Munis Financial Management System, a process that began in 2017. Features of the new system include an online payment portal and updates to utility billing and treasury operations. The rollout is expected to be finalized in mid-2022.
Utility billing staff will update customers as soon as they have determined when the new online bill pay system is again fully functional.
Customers must pay their bills in full, but due to the pandemic, there are currently no penalties for late payments and no utility disconnections, officials said.
Customers who would like to pay over the phone should call 805-875-8255 or 805-875-8259. Patience is requested, as the city’s billing and treasury divisions have been experiencing a heavy influx of calls, a spokeswoman said.
Those looking to start or stop utility service during this time period may email email@example.com.
For more information and updates, visit www.cityoflompoc.com or the city’s social media channels.