Dunsmuir City Council directed city manager Todd Juhasz to send a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom during their meeting on Thursday, asking for additional financial assistance for the small struggling town amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Juhasz also wrote to Senator Kamala Harris’s office asking for more COVID-19 testing in Siskiyou County.

Councilor Bruce Deutsch asked citizens of Dunsmuir to wear masks while out in the community.

In addition, a resolution in support of a potential FAA grant award of approximately $3 million to rebuild the airport runway and apron was approved by the council. This is a no-match grant. A resolution authorizing the creation of the Airport Advisory Ad Hoc Committee and Charter approval was also approved by the council, although it was noted that this didn’t even make number 12 on the Dunsmuir community survey. Results will soon be posted on the city’s website.

A discussion about funding special events in the city was tabled for later in May or in June until after the COVID-19 shutdown.

Deutsch said there is little sense in advertising local events, since Railroad Days, the Tribute to the Trees Concert, the Annual State of Jefferson Brewfest and the Metal in the Mountain festivals will most likely be canceled.

Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Sergeant Ben Whetstine reported that 700 to 1,000 people are accessing local waterfalls on the weekend and the $24 citation fines are not a deterrent. Councilor Dave Keisler commented that the $24 is “more like the price of admission” than a fine that makes a difference in whether or not someone will access the waterfalls.

Mayor Juliana Lucchesi said that she is working on programs to improve sidewalks in town. Grants are available and she is hoping to get on the grant list for next year due to the fact that they only accept 10 towns each year.

Lynda Scheben with the Disaster Planning Committee reported that DPAC will meet at 6 p.m. on May 28 via Zoom. The Dunsmuir Hazard Mitigation Plan is working with Land Use Consultant Rico Tinsman to annex with the county’s plan. They will help rank potential hazards in Dunsmuir and will look at goals to get “fire ready” with Dunsmuir City Fire Chief Dan Padilla, as the month of May is the start of fire season. The committee wants to have a wildfire map available that shows routes out of town in case evacuation is necessary. Scheben also wants to bring back the Fire Safe Council.

Deutsch asked if COVID-19 will affect firefighting. He also suggested banning use of fireworks this Fourth of July. This will be discussed at the council’s next meeting.

Tim Holt announced that the Dunsmuir Branch Library is preparing a soft opening. The librarian can bring books out to people. For more information call the library at (530) 235-2035.

All our coverage of coronavirus is being provided free for our readers. Please consider supporting local journalism by calling our office at (530) 842-5777.