Good news in Dunsmuir

Lauren Steinheimer

Dunsmuir City Council heard good news about two ongoing city projects during Thursday’s meeting.

Vice Mayor Bryce Craig, sitting in for Mayor Spurlock, announced that some progress has been made on the efforts to create a trail to Mossbrae Falls and that the city was officially awarded $1.2 million to fund its water main replacement project.

Council approved a traffic study on Sacramento Avenue, passed the first reading of a new ordinance amending the city code to allow single family houses in the central commercial and historic districts, agreed to a lease for city parking on property owned by Union Pacific and approved the transition of ParcelQuest to online services.

Craig and councilors Dave Keisler and Bruce Deutsch voted unanimously on all action items.

Spurlock and councilor Nick Syrrist did not attend.

Thoughts on cannabis cultivation ordinances and commercial rates for non-aviation hangar leases at the airport were also discussed.

Mossbrae Falls trail

After months of draft updates, the Mount Shasta Trail Association sent a letter to Sidney Lanier of the Saint Germain Foundation.

Interim city manager Randy Johnsen said the letter, written by Joe Wirth of the trail association, listed several options for how he thought they could move forward with land acquisition to build a trail accessing Mossbrae Falls on the property owned by the Saint Germain Foundation.

Johnsen noted that the letter from the trail association was the first communication attempt from any agency other than the City of Dunsmuir.

“Incidentally, I received a response within a couple of days,” Johnsen said. “It was sent to me, and not the trail association.”

Johnsen said Lanier’s message inquired whether the city was no longer interested in owning and operating the trail project.

Johnsen said he replied that the city is supporting the trail association in its role as lead agency in creating a trail to Mossbrae Falls.

Craig said if anyone is interested in more information, they can contact any city council member.

DWR grant

Craig said the Department of Water Resources announced award recipients on Jan. 13, and the Upper Sacramento region got $3 million.

Of that, Dunsmuir will receive $1.2 million for water main replacements in north and south Dunsmuir.

“That’s going to put a huge dent in the amount of pipe we have to lay,” Craig said, adding that IRWM is now looking at the possibility for Prop. 1 funding now that the Prop. 84 funds are exhausted.

Johnsen said the project they’re going to focus on for the next round of funding will be the water tank replacement in central Dunsmuir.

Traffic survey

Council approved engineering work for PACE in the amount of $1,000 for traffic survey work at Sacramento Avenue.

The work is planned to be completed by the end of January.

Johnsen reminded the public that the survey needs to be done in order for the Sheriff’s Department to use a radar gun for issuing speeding tickets in Dunsmuir.

Last month, council approved PACE Engineering to conduct a traffic survey on Dunsmuir Avenue for $5,000, and Craig subsequently requested that survey be extended to Sacramento Ave.

Zoning ordinance

Ordinances allowing single family homes in the commercial and historic districts were unanimously approved.

Updates to the city’s zoning ordinance inadvertently stated that people could only occupy the second floor of buildings in those zones

caused problems with houses in the commercial and historic districts. The updates .

Johnsen said that was an unintentional consequence of the amendments.

Union Pacific lease

Council unanimously agreed to a lease agreement with Union Pacific for parking spaces.

While communicating with Union Pacific regarding permission to use the parking lot reserved for railroad employees, an issue was identified with another Union Pacific parcel the city has been using.

Johnsen said that in 2003, Union Pacific started leasing a piece of property south of the parking lot to the city at no cost. It was free because the city promised to beautify the area by planting trees and shrubs, creating a boundary between the tracks and the street.

In 2005, the city started using part of that property to create the diagonal parking spaces located across from the Brown Trout.

Since the city is using that property for its own benefit, Johnsen said Union Pacific is required to charge a fee. The minimum they charge for any leased property that’s used for any purpose is $3,000.


Council approved a transition to ParcelQuest online for an initial annual fee of $1,000 and authorized staff to negotiate a fixed annual fee for future years.

Johnsen explained that ParcelQuest is a service offering information about properties in Siskiyou County. The company reviews county parcel records and sells information about who owns the property, its value and taxes paid on it.

ParcelQuest is improving its service from quarterly-updated disc to continuously-updated internet records.

Medical cannabis

Vice Mayor Craig said he got word that the medical cannabis legislation removing the March 1 deadline is moving forward. He acknowledged that many cities are banning cannabis cultivation entirely and reminded the public that he’s opposed to a ban.

Johnsen said the League of California Cities was recommending bans to preserve local control, with the understanding that any ban can be un-banned.

“I remain not in favor of that,” Craig said. “I think, at this point, that legislation is going to go through and we’re not going to have to make a decision right away.”

He was referring to AB 21, Assemblymember Jim Wood’s bill to remove the March 1 deadline from the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act. It was unanimously passed by the Senate Government and Finance Committee on Jan. 14, according to a press release.

Airport hangars

Johnsen said a new lease rate for commercial, non-aviation use of airport hangar space is in the works.

He said the FAA is okay with non-aviation use of the airport as long as a commercial rate is charged. He added that if the hangars are full and a pilot wants to lease a space, commercial users will be given 90 days to vacate.

This matter will come before council in February.