City council revises cannabis business fees

Kelsey Shelton
Mount Shasta City Councilors Paul Engstrom, John Stackfleth, Barbara Wagner, John Redmond and Jeffrey Collings at last week’s meeting, which took place on Tuesday rather than the customary Monday due to Memorial Day.

While the meeting only lasted 45 minutes or so, many topics were discussed at last week’s Mount Shasta City Council meeting.

City Planner Julianna Lucchesi presented the council with a proposed amendment to the city’s current cannabis regulatory fees, from $320 to $1,000 per license. The increase would cover two-thirds of the cost to hire a half time employee who would be present during cannabis business inspections and updates.

Currently, there is only one inspection a year for each new cannabis license unless there is a compliance complaint.

Council member Jeffrey Collings said he was concerned about how the fee increase compared to other cities.

Lucchesi said it would not be much more.

“Currently, Shasta Lake is charging between two and three thousand,” she said.

Lucchesi clarified that the fees are per license, not per facility. The fees are meant to cover the cost of various inspections. With a constantly changing industry, facilities are constantly updating and altering their methods to comply with changes in the law.

Once it was specified that this vote would modify fees but not job qualifications and overall long term costs involved with adding a new employee, the topic went up for a vote. It passed 3 to 1 with Mayor Pro-Tem John Stackfleth opposed.

Fireworks celebration

Tom Haistings, the operator of the Mount Shasta Fourth of July Fireworks show, was present to answer questions and concerns from the council, as well as provide a formal invitation to the City of Mount Shasta to become a sponsor.

The fireworks display over Lake Siskiyou has been a tradition for more than 40 years and attracts numerous visitors to the city, Haistings said.

This is the first time that the city has been approached for sponsorship, he added.

The show will cost about $34,000 this year, and Haistings said he has obtained 59 percent of the necessary budget. He told the council that he’s always attempting to get new, permanent sponsorships from businesses in town, individual donors and title sponsors. New title sponsors this year include Ray Mac Mechanical and Crystal Geyser.

“Thousands come to watch, and this leads to more taxable income for the city,” Haistings stated. His reasons for keeping the show going as long as he can are simple: “Hometown traditions like this bring people back to the area,” he said.

Haistings also noted that people plan events around the annual fireworks show, such as family and class reunions, which bring familiar faces back into town.

Mayor Barbara Wagner noted that quite a few people are against the show for fire safety reasons. Haistings said there has “never been a fire we couldn’t mitigate” by “stamping it out.” He also assures that there is a fire engine and a water truck present during the show, which is fired over the lake.

In the end, the council approved an amended $1,500 donation from the city to the fireworks show by unanimous vote. The initial donation amount was set at $1,000.

City literature

Wagner is reaching out to Burney Disposal to provide citizens with a meet and greet style discussion with some of their representatives. This would provide a formal setting to discuss issues and plans for their upcoming year.

Wagner also suggests citizens who have not received the mailer from the city about the blue bag recycling program or the fire safety and evacuation guide to stop by City Hall and pick them up.