During the regularly scheduled January 19th meeting of the City of Mason, several guests offered their comments about proposed rules for the use of the Richard P. Eckert Civic Center. More specifically, they were offering comment on allowing the serving of alochol at events held at the facility.
Several speakers suggested that many of the events at the Civic Center were wine and cheese type events, and banning alcohol would eliminate its use for those functions. Speakers also pointed out that the Civic Center is either going to be an events facility (which would include serving alcohol at some functions) or simply a meeting room similar to the Stribling Room at the Mason County Library.
Other speakers, primarily residents of the surrounding neighborhood, worried about people drinking and then leaving the Center. They were concerned for their children and property, though all agreed that events that have already been held at the Civic Center had presented mostly parking problems, not alcohol issues.
The City Commissioners, during their own discussion, acknowledged that they had been approached by constituents concerning the topic. They discussed the issues brought up by the speakers, and agreed that most events are well coordinated and well monitored; but, wondered if they could provide guidance to make them even more so for future use of the facility.
The Commission decided to wait until their February meeting to make a final decision on the use guidelines.
In other business, the City voted to move ahead with phase 1 of the water looping project, with a proposed cost of $329,069. That phase will start at the new elevated storage tank, run along the west side of the city, and then turn east under Avenue F/Ranch Road 1871 just south of Mason High School. This will allow for new fire hydrants to be placed where they will improve the response for any emergency at the school campuses.
Sheriff Buster Nixon appeared before the Commission to answer any questions they might have about his department. He and Mayor Hinckley told the Commission that their two offices had been reviewing the 1993 interlocal agreement that provides for the Sheriff to serve the City and will be returning at a later date with an updated version.
Kent Rabon appeared on behalf of Texas Tech University alumni and the TTU Hill Country Advisory Board. He requested City support for their request for full funding for the campuses from the Texas legislature. The City approved the proclamation unanimously.
The next scheduled meeting of the City Commission will be February 9.