It is now a couple of weeks since the new year began and we are all trying to remember to put 2009 on our checks and hoping that we can maintain our resolutions at least until the end of this month. There has only been a little new activity around the city in the past few weeks, but that is starting to change as we begin the projects that were planned in the recent months. One important thing to note is the power outage that is being scheduled for next week. There is a notice elsewhere in this paper and notices are posted around town, but all of our residents should be aware that between Friday night, January 23 and Saturday morning, January 24 the City of Mason will be “turned off” for about four hours. LCRA needs to change a major switch at the substation, and consequently starting at about midnight they will turn off all of the power for the period of time it will take them to complete the changeover. Since most of us are not particularly active at those hours it will not inconvenience too many citizens; however, if you need power during that time for medical or other special needs please make arrangements or let us know at the city office and we will try to help you plan how best to deal with this situation. On the other hand, if you received a new telescope for Christmas this will be a special opportunity to set it up in the front yard to look at the stars and not be bothered by the surrounding city lights!
I have been asked several times recently about the project to remove the top sections of the new water tower and replace them. We have been informed by the contractor that the new steel has been correctly shaped and is currently being painted and prepared for shipment to Mason. A crew is being sent from Michigan to remove the unacceptable sections and replace them with the new steel, and we are expecting them to arrive about the first week of February. Weather and problems with shipping or equipment might cause some delay, however we anticipate the water tower to be reconstructed to meet our needs and to be properly painted and prepared to be an important part of our city water system during the next couple of months. The City Commission will also be awarding the bid for the first phase of the water looping project at our next scheduled meeting and that will provide further improvements to our water system. I hope that construction will begin in the spring on that project, but I will let you know when a construction schedule is set.
Another project that has been discussed and “planned” for the past couple of years should be underway by the time you read this. The clearing of brush, small trees and debris from the creek bed of Comanche Creek has been a concern to anyone who is aware of the overgrown nature of that area and the potential for water back-up and possible flooding if we receive heavy rainfall at some time in the future (I promise it will rain again someday!). City crews should be moving some heavy equipment into the creek this week and beginning the job of clearing the creek and burning the brush and limbs that are removed. They are beginning at the north edge of town and working their way down stream and it is expected that this will take some time, but look for progress over the next couple of weeks.
There are many different projects around town that each contribute to the continued improvement of our community. Some take longer to get started that others, but the City Commission and the City employees are all committed to working together to provide a better town for those who come after us. The electric department continues to replace the low voltage system and upgrade the power system, the landfill department is looking to some improvements and new equipment during the next few months, and animal control is working on some changes and improvements that will help curtail some of the loose animals in the city and provide better care for those that are picked up. There are many improvements that will begin in this New Year and I hope you will work with us to continue to work together to make Mason the very best hometown in the Hill Country.
Your friend and neighbor, Brent Hinckley