The rains over the past couple of weeks have been a great blessing and the cooler weather with them has been a relief. With the extra moisture most of our landscape watering was curtailed and the Mason water system is healthier for it, but with the prediction for clear skies and warmer temperatures I hope all of our residents remember the need for careful use of water around the house and the continued conservation of our water resources. This past weekend, even with the extensive tennis tournament, was quiet compared to the previous activity of Round-up weekend, but there are still many different summer activities that call for our attention. Last week the City Commission met for our regular monthly meeting, and there were several items that I want to share so that you have a good idea of what is going on in your hometown.
One of the agenda items was to review the bids received for paving and seal coating some of our City streets and awarding the contract. We will be having some paving done on several streets throughout town during August, and the Street crews are working hard to prepare the streets and right of ways. Therefore, as you drive through the neighborhoods in the next several weeks watch out for work crews and drive carefully when you see someone working in or near your path. The other contract issue that the Commission dealt with was to reject the previous bids for work at the waste water treatment plant, not because there was any problem with the bids, but rather because with more insight we want to restructure the project and bid documents. This approach will allow much more of the total work to be bid and handled in one contract, and that is expected to relieve some of the time constraints on the contractors and hopefully allow a better total cost to the City for the same work.
There were a few other “housekeeping” actions, such as appointing Commissioner William Beaty Jr as Mayor Pro Tem for the coming year, and hearing from a concerned citizen about safety issues in a specific neighborhood of town. We also approved the financing for a new Fire Department Rescue Truck that will enable the firemen to respond to wrecks and life threatening situations more effectively. The cost of this new truck will be evenly split between the City and the County, with the VFD providing the equipment and pumping unit, so this is another example of the various groups in town working together to provide greater benefits for our community as a whole.
The Commission also spent time last week with our Auditor reviewing the annual audit of City finances, and the bottom line is that your municipal government is very healthy and we continue to improve our community within the budget and revenues we have. When we look at where we are and compare our city to other such towns, I can very honestly and proudly say that Mason is in many ways in better shape than any other town in our area. The Commission is also looking forward and planning the financial budget for the coming year, and considering the many different expenses and costs that will need to be met to continue the positive improvements that we have set out. At this time there are several areas that we are looking to make improvements and some special projects that we are considering to help us to better serve our residents. If you have specific ideas or suggestions that you think would help improve our town, now is the best time to voice them and let us know how we can serve you. As we look forward with the new budget, we can plan the improvements that will help keep our town healthy and thriving. Mason is definitely a great hometown, and together we will continue to work to make it even better for the future we will share.
Your friend and neighbor, Brent Hinckley