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Dunsmuir mayor Matthew Bryan looks forward to 2021

Shareen Strauss
Dunsmuir's mayor Matthew Bryan

Dunsmuir’s new mayor Matthew Bryan is committed to following through with the reinvention of his beloved historic town to build a diverse, service-based economy and increase jobs during the pandemic.

One big project that has been in the works is the replacement of the vast majority of the water infrastructure that feeds into Dunsmuir’s residential homes. After 80 years of neglect, Bryan is hoping this multi-million-dollar project can be complete by the year’s end.   

A realtor by trade, Bryan also wants to develop greater resources for local businesses and continue to pursue Community Development Block Grants to encourage business development.  Applications for new or established businesses are available through Siskiyou County Economic Development or at Dunsmuir City Hall.  

“We want to do everything we can to support the health of our citizens and survival of our small businesses,” said Bryan, who was elected to the council in 2018.

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According to his biography on Dunsmuir’s website, Bryan was born and raised in south Siskiyou County and attended Golden Eagle Charter School. Upon graduating, he represented Dunsmuir as a Rotary Youth Exchange Ambassador in Switzerland for a year. He has a bachelor’s degree from Thomas Aquinas College, where he studied philosophy before returning home in 2016.

“Dunsmuir is known for its many good restaurants, beautiful parks along the river, world class fishing and a tourist destination,” Bryan said. “One of my top priorities is to complete the Mossbrae Falls trail. It is one of our biggest draws. Literally hundreds of people come here each weekend to see our beautiful waterfalls.” 

A new and safe trail to Mossbrae Falls is designed to start at the Hedge Creek Falls trail with a walking bridge crossing over the Sacramento River. Dunsmuir’s city council is working with Union Pacific to make the new trail safe and accessible.  

Other projects that have been in the works that Dunsmuir’s new mayor wants to see through include the completion of the Butterfly Bridge that spans over the Sacramento River and capital improvements at the Dunsmuir Airport.  

“We want the airport to be solvent and operational,” said Bryan. “We have grants in place to pay for the repaving of the runway.”  

Working on developing a committee and code enforcement to help in converting the historic buildings in downtown Dunsmuir into thriving commercial businesses and residential housing is another one of Bryan’s goals. 

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“The Traveler’s Hotel building downtown has been purchased by investors who plan to renovate it,” he said. “I would love to see it converted into condominiums. Housing in Dunsmuir is very much needed. We cannot afford empty buildings.”

Bryan said there will be “growing pains.”

“We have a committee to regulate housing,” he said. We need to be creative and work” with private owners and developers to bring these vacant buildings back to productive circulation to help with our housing crisis.” 

Bryan attributes many of these positive changes to the aptitude and engagement of Dunsmuir’s City Manager Todd Juhasz. 

“We wouldn’t be able to achieve these goals and these aspirations wouldn’t be realistic if it weren’t for him,” Bryan said.   

“I encourage everyone to have patience. These are unprecedented times. We will emerge and prosper from this given time.”