Mount Shasta City Council members approved a Cannabis Tax measure for the November ballot and a Letter of Support for LandVest Incorporated and its proposed Fuel Break Project during the regular Council meeting held Tuesday, May 29, 2018.

The Council approved $298,327, to be awarded to Northwest Paving for the Ream Avenue Rehabilitation Project; and a motion was approved to take no action on the Alma Street Signal Replacement Project because bids were too high.

Cannabis Tax Measure

Councilors voted 4-1 to approve a general election ballot for a Cannabis Tax Measure to be placed on the November ballot. City staff recommended a local excise tax of 35 cents per dry-weight ounce for flower product. For manufacturing, staff proposed a square footage tax that would cost the manufacturing business approximately one dollar per square foot. “This would bring us revenue of around $32,000 for manufacturing. We do not know exactly how much we would get for cultivation as we have never done it,” stated City Planner Juliana Lucchesi. “As far as the retail sale of cannabis product, we recommend it to be capped at five percent gross sales receipts and initially set at three percent. The initial estimate for revenue from retail sales is $36,000 assuming that the retail industry does $1.2 million in sales.”

After the motion made by Tim Stearns was seconded by Barbara Wagner, its was approved by a 4-1 vote with John Stackfleth opposed. No reason for opposition was stated.

Alma Street signal replacement

Councilors unanimously voted to take no action on a bid from S & L Company that was submitted for the Alma Street Signal Light Replacement project. According to Public Works Director Rod Bryan, the City only received one bid for the project and, “We felt the bid was a bit high. We had an engineer’s estimate of around $100,000, and the bid came it at $168,000 – almost $169,000. We are in the process of talking to the one bidder to see what he was thinking and possibly reevaluating the scope of work. We are looking to possibly bring this back in the near future. We might re-bid it to possibly get a better price. We could revise the scope of work, but there’s really not much to it. We have already purchased the equipment to be identical to the light at the corner of Mount Shasta Boulevard and Lake Street.”

The light will remain on flash mode until Public Works finds better options, according to city staff.

Mount Shasta marketing

Expenditures of $2,280 for a one year contract with OppSites Company Incorporated and $13,908 for a one-year contract with the online marketing company Thrive-Hive were approved by a 4-1 Council vote.

The City Council established City goals to actively recruit businesses, bring people permanently to live in Mount Shasta, and bring additional housing to the area, according to a staff report.

City staff has been focused on economic development and believes the OppSites company, which is an online system that allows public and private agencies to post the type of projects that they are interested in developing, would create a more focused approach to the City’s economic development activities.

OppSites provides direct interactive contact with identified companies of interest, according to City Manager Bruce Pope.

City staff recommended the approval of a one-year contact with Thrive-Hive, stating in its report that the company would allow the City to develop and disseminate programs designed to attract new residents and businesses to Mount Shasta.

A presentation about Thrive-Hive was given at the meeting by Amy Lanier, General Manager of GateHouse Media’s Northern California Group, which includes the Mount Shasta Herald, Weed Press and Dunsmuir News.

The concept is to build a digital program outlining the benefits of living and working in Mount Shasta and to digitally project the program to specific geographical areas. The program allows for the administrating person to see the number of responses and hits the City gets by geographical area, the number of online hits that result in specific inquiries, monitor the overall effectiveness of the program, and receive recommendations on how to improve the City’s marketing efforts for the future.

Council member Wagner said she had some concerns with the program because, although the City would be able to see how many hits were received online, there would be no way to see if those individuals followed through and visited Mount Shasta.

After a motion Stearns to approve both contracts and a second by Stackfleth, the vote was 4-1 to approve with Wagner opposed.

Ream Avenue Rehabilitation Project Bid

A $298,327 construction contract bid by Northwest Paving Inc. was unanimously approved for the rehabilitation of roads and sidewalks on Ream Avenue.

Multiple bids were received for the project, according to Public Works Director Bryan, with bid amounts ranging from $298,327 to $391,009.

PACE Engineering evaluated the bids and recommended that the City award the contract to Northwest Paving.

Fuel break project

Council unanimously approved the signing of a letter of support for the Sacramento River Canyon Climate Resilience Project.

According to Rich Klug from the company LandVest, which is the company that manages property owned by Roseburg Forest Products, the project the company wants to start would create roughly 40 miles of shaded fuel breaks on the hills and ridges between McCloud, Dunsmuir, and Mount Shasta. The fuel breaks would provide firefighting personnel the ability to protect wildlands, especially the critical power transmission infrastructure in the Sacramento River Canyon.

LandVest is working with CAL FIRE and other organizations to complete the project.

“If you remember the Bradley Fire last fall, it started down in Dunsmuir and started up the hill,” said Klug. “That whole brush field is an indication that there have been lots of fires there in the past. If we can treat those fuels safely and effectively, we would like to use CAL FIRE’s vegetation management program.