The Mount Shasta City Council meeting on Monday night became increasingly complicated as council members discussed the city’s mid year fiscal report, the future of non-smoking signage, and recommendations from the Active Transportation Committee. In the end, no final decisions were made.

The Mount Shasta City Council meeting on Monday night became increasingly complicated as council members discussed the city’s mid year fiscal report, the future of non-smoking signage, and recommendations from the Active Transportation Committee. In the end, no final decisions were made.

Mid year review

City Finance Director Muriel Howarth-Terrell gave a report to the council regarding the 2019-2020 mid year review and budget revisions. According to Howarth-Terrell, there have been small decreases and increases in the city’s expenditures, with one of the biggest expenses being an increase for a supplemental payroll for a position held in December, which was approved by the council last year.

While the city has multiple grants, tax allotments, and bonds, it is estimated that the city’s growth allocations will be positive for the upcoming year, and according to the report, the city should come out ahead. The police department dispatch and fire department had increases in overtime hours, and it is projected that more positions are needed to get both departments back to regular staffing.

After the report was presented, council members had questions and a small calculating error was found during the lengthy deliberations. This led the council to suggesting the review be moved to the next meeting agenda.

Smoking signage

Public Works Director Rod Bryan was on hand to assist the council with suggestions regarding additional non-smoking signage in the downtown area. Currently, there are signs posted within the “smoke free” district, which includes the Alma Street area, downtown Mt. Shasta Boulevard, and Chestnut Street. These signs include both detailed maps of areas where smoking is prohibited, and standard no smoking signs.

After the council discussed potential changes to the city’s non-smoking ordinance a few weeks ago, the concept of education and signage were two things they decided to focus on. Councilor Barbara Wagner had concerns about additional signs becoming “visual pollution” within the affected areas, and this concern was seconded by councilor Paul Engstrom and a concerned citizen who spoke during public comment. Wagner also noted that in the previous meeting, it was suggested to kick the idea back to the planning commission.

“There is an aesthetic involved ... Who knows the city aesthetics better than the planning commission?” Wagner said.

In the end, the city voted to extend their conversation regarding signage once funding has been located, and a more accurate price estimate for fewer signs has been presented to the council by Bryan.

Active Transportation Committee

Former city councilor and current Active Transportation Committee member Tim Stearns said in 2013 the City of Mt. Shasta created a document that identified issues and made suggestions regarding the state of the maintenance and repair program. The document wasn’t officially set as a city maintenance plan.

It was recommended that the council create an official plan that the city could act and build on over time to maintain city streets, sidewalks and facilities, and make sure all were up to current code and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Wagner asked Stearns, an attorney, about a client whom he represented in the city of Weed, who had fallen outside her home on a non compliant sidewalk. She was injured, and the city agreed to pay close to $55,000 in damages.

According to Stearns, “It would have cost maybe hundreds to a thousand dollars to fix the issue” in the particular area.

Mayor John Stackfleth agreed that the city’s sidewalks were an issue, citing his own examples of dangerous areas that have been uprooted, broken off, or are “like a teeter totter,” when stepped on.

The plan, if created and officialized, would set the city up for a somewhat slow paced schedule to fix the areas.

The main concern related to creating the plan – costs. According to Bryan, certain areas in the city are not the full responsibility of the city. Business owners are partially responsible for their own property maintenance, but the issue with that still boils down to costs.

“Once you notify the owner to fix it, if they don’t pay for it, then the city does it,” Bryan said.

By the end of Monday’s meeting, Stackfleth voted that the item be sent to the Public Works department to begin creating a plan. This action was decided by a 4 to 1 vote, with Councilor John Redmond casting the sole “no” vote.

Future business

The Mount Shasta City Council will be discussing Community Development Block Grant Infrastructure funding at their March 9 meeting, as well as potentially amending the accessory dwelling unit ordinance. The mid-year financial review and the master fee schedule will be discussed as well.

Mount Shasta City Council meetings are open to the public, and are held at the City Park in the upper lodge, starting at 5:30 p.m.