One of the three resolutions approved during Thursday’s Dunsmuir City Council meeting authorizes PACE Engineering to provide services for the city’s water tank replacement project.
The council also approved continued participation in Central Valley Clean Water Association Freshwater Mussels Collaborative Study, and agreeing to begin feasibility studies for Butterfly Bridge improvements.
The first reading of Ordinance No. 550 creating new regulations for solid waste collection and disposal was approved.
Councilor decided to continue two agenda items at later meetings. A public hearing regarding the second reading and adoption of Ordinance No. 549 adopting Dunsmuir’s city codes was postponed until the Oct. 15 city council meeting in order to provide time to notify the public.
An agenda item considering and accepting the 2013-14 audit presented by Aiello Goodrich and Teuscher will be covered at the Oct. 1 meeting.
Council member Josh Spurlock was absent.
Water tank replacement
PACE Engineering Manager Paul Reuter gave a brief presentation on the need to replace Dunsmuir’s main water tank. He said the location of the current tank, in addition to its age, causes it to overflow and discharge water back into the river. It’s also positioned too low in elevation to provide Dunsmuir homes that are built higher up on the hill with adequate water pressure during peak demand periods.
Dunsmuir’s water tank and water main replacement projects were both included in the current cycle of Integrated Regional Water Management grant funding. Reuter explained that, although the water tank replacement project was ranked highly, there’s a lot of preliminary work that needs to be done before construction can begin.
“There needs to be an environmental review because the new tank needs to be built on a new site. There needs to be some easement acquisition,” Reuter said.
Council unanimously approved the proposal for engineering, environmental and land acquisition services provided by PACE.
State river monitoring laws
In order to comply with state laws requiring cities to monitor rivers for the presence of freshwater mussels, councilors unanimously voted to continue participation in phase 11a of the Central Valley Clean Water Association Freshwater Mussels Collaborative Study.
“The state has hired a consultant to do a statewide group study on various rivers and discharges,” Reuter clarified. “Fortunately, for [Dunsmuir] and Mount Shasta, they’re looking at the upper Sacramento as well. So here’s an opportunity to get in with a state sponsored group instead of going about it on your own.”
Interim City Manager Randy Johnsen said that participation in the group study would cost $892.50, whereas conducting their own study could cost thousands of dollars.
Bridge feasibility studies
Council unanimously voted to authorize the interim city manager to execute a work agreement with Caltrans to initiate feasibility studies for improvements to Butterfly Bridge. Johnsen said the city had previously received a SCOUR grant to study the Butterfly Bridge. “The SCOUR grant determined that the water coming through has made the portions that are holding up the bridge no longer viable,” he said.
Johnsen said the city was approved for a $100,000 grant to further examine Butterfly Bridge from the perspective of hydrology experts. The Caltrans budget for the project is $85,000, leaving $15,000 of grant funding remaining.
Mandatory garbage pickup
The first reading of an ordinance requiring mandatory citywide garbage pickup was unanimously approved.
During public comments, Don Harley urged council not to adopt the ordinance. He is the owner of a business that does not generate any trash, and doesn’t think that he should be required to pay a monthly fee for a service he doesn’t use.
Council member Bryce Craig, who sits on the city’s solid waste committee, said that making garbage pickup mandatory is necessary for a stable financial model. On top of that, he added that residents might resort to burning trash or worse things if they aren’t required to participate in municipal waste collection.
Council member Syrrist suggested looking into possibilities for exemptions from the requirement in cases such as Harley’s, in which a green business owner isn’t generating any trash.
Also during the meeting
Linda Gnessa presented a proposal for turning Bent Rail Park into a disc golf course. After reviewing feedback from Dunsmuir’s Recreation and Parks District, council decided not to take any action on the project at this time.
The letter from the Recreation and Parks District recommends the city support the project in concept only. Several suggestions were made regarding accessibility, liability, funding resources, maintenance and design.
Interim city manager Johnsen offered to assist Gnessa with addressing these concerns and preparing a revised proposal.
During the public comment period, Carolyn Rivard of the Neighborhood Watch Committee said she encountered three people trying to graffiti the freshly mosaicked Belnap Fountain. She requested installing a camera at that location. Johnsen said installing security cameras at the fountain is already on the agenda for the Oct. 7 public safety meeting.
More details about
a past council decision
A citizen recently asked the newspaper for more information regarding the city’s employment agreement with Dunsmuir Fire Chief Dan Padilla.
At the Sept. 3 city council meeting, an update job description for the fire chief position including a monthly salary of $4,500 plus benefits was unanimously approved. Padilla was appointed to the position at that meeting.
He has been serving as Dunsmuir’s fire chief for several years with the promise of an employment relationship, according to an email from Johnsen. Padilla had previously been earning a stipend of $1,474 per month without benefits. “He is now an employee, and his job description is the same as that for Mount Shasta’s fire chief,” Johnsen wrote.
When asked what the total cost of the position would be and how the city will fund it, Johnsen responded, “The total cost annualized (it won’t cost this much this year as he wasn’t appointed as of July 1) is estimated at $4,500 times 12 months for $54,000 plus an estimated 35% of that for benefits, $18,900, for a total of $72,900.
“This money will come from general fund and from special fire district tax that pays 23% of all fire department operations costs. The tax is because the fire department serves areas outside of Dunsmuir city limits, mostly to the south.
“No cuts were made to fire department budget when it was presented to council earlier. The above additional cost will be added to the preliminary budget amount when the council is asked to approve a final budget.”