This article is corrected from the version of the story that was published in the Dec. 13 Mount Shasta Area Newspapers.

-- Editor’s note: This article has been corrected from the original version that appeared in the Dec. 13 Mount Shasta Area Newspapers. A statement made in public comments during the meeting about Police Department negotiations with the City was incorrectly attributed to Mayor Pro-tem Barbara Wagner. Wagner is correctly quoted in this version of the article saying: “Just as long as the public is aware, we did offer the police department the same percentage increase that we offered all the other departments. Out of fairness, we thought that that was the best thing to do, to keep that pay raise even across all the departments. We didn’t want to start giving different departments different percentages of increase. So that was our offer to the police department. The police department refused that offer. So we’ve been stalled since then.” Wagner did not say negotiations are still open, and the City is willing to go into further negotiations. That decision would have to be made by a majority of the council, Wagner said after the meeting. 

The Mount Shasta City Council heard a report during the public comment portion of its Dec. 11 regular meeting about the Police Department’s desire to enter into further contract negotiations.

Councilors also unanimously approved a Mitigated Negative Declaration and a mitigation monitoring program for Tank One and the Roseburg Water System projects and set the dates of Feb. 7 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. for the first session of the City Council Goals Workshop and Feb. 14 from 3 to 5 p.m. for the City Council Protocols Workshop.

Teamsters 137 representative Kimberly Carelli stated that the MSPD did not reach an agreement during the 2017 contract negotiations. A proposal was brought to the Council in 2017 and was denied. Since that time, according to Carelli, an experienced and productive police officer left the MSPD for another department elsewhere in the county.

Carelli asked that Council reconsider the Police Department’s proposals and enter into further negotiations. She also read a letter from a current Mount Shasta Police Department officer to the City Council.

A section from the letter stated, “I am a City of Mount Shasta Police Officer, and I say that with pride. Your police officers are being asked to do more with less and expected just to take it by the Mount Shasta City Council. Currently, only two of your officers reside in the City due to lack of sufficient wages. I don’t have an answer for everything, but life and people are diverse and funny, and I take immense joy in serving my community because I am one of you. I am your next door neighbor, our children go to the same school and inhabit the same community.”

Carelli asked that the Council re-enter into negotiations so that Police officers can receive the wages they deserve.

Mayor Pro-tem Barbara Wagner said, “Just as long as the public is aware, we did offer the police department the same percentage increase that we offered all the other departments. Out of fairness, we thought that that was the best thing to do, to keep that pay raise even across all the departments. We didn’t want to start giving different departments different percentages of increase. So that was our offer to the police department. The police department refused that offer. So we’ve been stalled since then.”

Mayor Kathy Morter said, “We have given raises every year to all of our employees up to as much as we felt we could afford. We know we lose officers. For some time, we have considered ourselves to be a training department for other Police Departments because they can’t afford, for a variety of reasons, to pay their officers more. I think this is a good place for our officers to begin their training and move on to another community that would benefit from their services.”

Tank One and Water System projects

Councilors unanimously approved the adoption of a Mitigated Negative Declaration and mitigation monitoring and reporting program for the Tank One and Roseburg Water System projects.

The City, as the lead agency for the Tank One and Roseburg Water System projects, prepared an initial study with ENPLAN and PACE Engineering to provide information about potential environmental impacts, according to city planner Juliana Lucchesi.

The project would improve the water system by replacing Tank One with a new water tank and making improvements to the Pressure Reducing Valve station. Approximately 7,500 feet of water mains within the Roseburg water system would be replaced and approximately 1,000 feet of 12-inch water main would be installed in a segment of McCloud Ave., according to a City staff report.

The ENPLAN study states, “based on the whole record before the projects, including the Initial Study and any comments received, that there is no substantial evidence that the Project will have a significant effect on the environment, and the Mitigated Negative Declaration reflects the lead agency’s independent judgment and analysis.”

The Mitigated Negative Declaration was prepared in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act and all legal requirements including all public notice and comment period requirements, according to staff.

Five people expressed concern about extending water lines outside of the City during public comments.

Dale La Forest said, “ENPLAN has made a serious mistake. They failed to provide any environmental review for the consequences of extending a water line outside the City limits.”

He said the ENPLAN study and declaration do not cover the possibility of housing being built on The Landing property, and he disagreed with the study’s conclusion that there was no need at this time to research the possibility of housing there.

Lucchesi agreed that housing in the City is an issue, but according to ENPLAN and PACE Engineering, there is no way to predict what type of establishments will be placed at The Landing, and researching those possibilities would be outside the span of this study and Mitigated Negative Declaration. The pipes that are being laid that are outside the City limits are replacing waterlines that are already in place.

A motion was made by Stackfleth to approve and adopt the Mitigated Negative Declaration for the Tank One and Roseburg Water System projects. It was seconded by Stearns and unanimously approved.