Council discusses renewable energy generation, energy efficiency, water conservation and electric vehicle charging infrastructure improvements.

Green energy, integrative waste management and potential collaboration with the Alliance for Humanity were main topics during Monday’s Mount Shasta City Council meeting.

Dawn Fazende of Mount Shasta’s Alliance for Humanity gave a presentation requesting assistance from the city. The Alliance for Humanity runs Mount Shasta’s Meals on Wheels program and coordinates the annual Wesak festival.

Fazende came to the council seeking help in the way of collaborative marketing and logistical coordination for the Wesak celebration.

“We need to go out of our way to make it easier, not only for the people coming here, but for Wesak presenters,” Fazende said. Mount Shasta’s Wesak celebration features prominent speakers in the spiritual community as well as musicians, teachers, healers and Kirtan.

Fazende noted that the annual festival has drawn as many as 1,200 visitors to the area in past years, 95% of which come from “around the world.”

In her recent experience coordinating the event, Fazende said she has run into obstacles such as finding an affordable indoor venue large enough to host the celebration, securing lodging and creating a buzz through effective marketing.

“I’m not Joshua Stone,” she said, referring to the event founder whose duties she took over when he passed away. “I don’t have that type of personality that can bring people here. We need the city to help re-invite some of these people.”

Council member Tim Stearns said he thinks the event fits into the city’s strategic plan, and that it’s a good idea to collaborate.

Mayor Geoff Harkness added that spiritual tourism is a vital element of Mount Shasta’s economy. He said 52% of the people who come through the visitor’s center say they come here for spiritual reasons.

Terry Phenicie of Ygrene Energy presented an overview of what his company offers in the way of financing options for green energy improvements to homes and businesses.

The presentation was related to two resolutions on the meeting’s agenda that agree to include properties within the city of Mount Shasta in the California Home Finance Authority’s Property Assessed Clean Energy programs.

The California Home Finance Authority contracts with Ygrene Energy to finance renewable energy generation, energy efficiency, water conservation and electric vehicle charging infrastructure improvements.

Both resolutions passed unanimously.

Phenicie explained that Ygrene Energy provides “an opportunity for relatively user-friendly financing” for green energy improvement projects. “[Customers] have the capacity of completely deducting the full payment on tax rolls, so it’s paid like property tax.” He said customers find a contractor through Ygrene and can utilize financing once that contractor has been trained.

Ygrene’s financing options are available to home and business owners. A proposal tool can be found on the company website: http://ygreneworks.com/.

Solar loans are up to 30 years and water heaters are 10 years. Anyone interested can contact Terry at: terry.phenecie@ygrene.us or 707-621-2824.

The council unanimously approved a resolution to award the LED streetlight replacement project to Siemens Industry Inc. in the amount of $68,545.92.

Roslyn McCoy thanked the city council for listening to the suggestions of the public and opting for the 3,000 Kelvin lights as opposed to the brighter ones. She asked what will happen to the old lights once they’re removed. Public works director Rod Bryan said the old lights will become the property of the contractors that remove them.

City manager Paul Eckert was absent from the meeting, but finance director Muriel Terrell provided a brief update. She announced that the annual business walkabout is scheduled for Wednesday, July 15.

Harkness inquired about the city’s garbage and recycling codes being out of date, which Terrell confirmed. She reported on a recent solid waste committee meeting and said Mount Shasta is in the process of developing a five-year plan for solid waste and recycling to meet legislative requirements.

Terrell reported that green waste was a primary topic at the meeting, and that a plan needs to be made. She’s hoping for collaboration with Smith Sanitation, the Siskiyou Opportunity Center, schools, the transfer station, nurseries, and the Siskiyou Land Trust to work together to initiate community wide composting. She added that the committee is hoping to initiate a community wide cleanup program in the next year or so.

Terrell is planning to attend an upcoming funding symposium in an effort to procure funding for the city’s sewer interceptor line upgrade.

Harkness commended the city’s public works department for all of their hard work on several improvement projects that are happening simultaneously. Both Harkness and Bryan acknowledged public works supervisor Shawn Powell, as well as the entire department, for drawing positive feedback from citizens.

Bryan reported that “the supply line project is moving right along. It’s about 31% complete.” He added that the water meter installation project is about 43% complete. “We’re finding out a lot about our system,” Bryan said. “It’s been an interesting challenge.”

Kathy Morter, who won the June election for Mount Shasta’s vacant city council seat, received committee assignments during Monday night’s meeting. She’ll serve as city council liaison for the downtown enhancement advisory committee and the beautification committee.

Morter announced that she has already started attending some of the meetings and finds them “inspiring.” She said the Beautification Committee has a vacancy and is looking for someone who is good at rallying volunteer helpers.

The committee is focused on beautifying the area outside of the visitor’s center, and is planning to utilize hardscaping or xeriscaping to conserve water.

Harkness said he is trying to assemble a committee focused on Lake Siskiyou, and he thinks that Morter’s background in forestry would be well-suited for that.

Stearns gave a special thanks to deputy city clerk Nicole Dove, who is leaving her position.

Harkness said, “Fourth of July was great,” and thanked the police and fire departments for all their help, as well as the Young Professionals group for leading the parade.