The weather has been wonderfully “spring-like” for the past couple of weeks, and all we need now is some good rains to get things really growing and blooming. The last several weeks have also been busy in the City office and the work crews have had plenty to keep them on their toes. The Electric department has been busy all over town working on providing new service installations or upgrades for several homes and businesses, even though they are short at least one worker for their crew. The waste water treatment construction is nearing completion and in just a few weeks we will be switching over to the new smaller ponds. The City crews are working to install aerators, new sand filter tanks, and other equipment that will allow us to start using parts of the new facility while the contractor comes back and continues to dig and then compact the liners of the other ponds. Throughout the process we will continue to operate and maintain the daily activities as well as deal with some additional bacterial issues that occasionally cause testing problems.
In a couple of other areas where our citizens might actually see and appreciate some of the new changes, at the Community Building we have had a contractor working for the past month and when I was out there last week there was a new acoustical ceiling installed that cleans up the space and adds lightness from its bright white surface as well as reduces the noise level by absorbing some of the “bounced” sound. Also they are resurfacing the kitchen counters, putting new floors in the kitchen and bathrooms and getting everything repainted so that it has a fresh and clean “spring” look. They should be finished this week, and we are working with the local air conditioning contractors to try and get heating and cooling installed in the coming months as well. In another City facility that our residents often use, our Recycling Center will have a chance to add some improvements as well. We just heard in the past couple of days that we have received another grant for Recycling as an incentive for our already excellent facility, and we will be using the extra money to concrete the floor in some of our storage areas, extend some of the canopy overhangs, and provide a few other changes to improve our service.
In the City office we are working to take care of some other issues and prepare some documents for consideration at the next City Commission meeting. As I explained in last week’s column, we are working on an Interconnectivity Agreement so that individuals can install solar panels to generate most of their power needs but still remain connected to the electric distribution system to provide for the remainder of their power use. This is a complex issue and I expect once we complete a policy and contract agreement there will be about twenty pages of documents for the Commissioners to review and discuss, and for those who wish to use this service to read and understand as well. We are also working on finding some grants to help pay for new storm sirens that we intend to install in three locations around town. With that coverage it should provide for everyone in or near town to hear the warning when there is really bad weather or some other danger. In another area, the City staff has had some extra concerns getting documents and letters written to TCEQ for a couple of different issues in the past week, and there is no doubt that there will be more in the coming month or two, but that is just part of the job when you work in areas that have governmental regulations and inspections.
That is just a brief overview of some of the work that your City has been dealing with for the past couple of weeks. It seems like when we get busy there is just a deluge of work and decisions that need to be handled, and spring is always a busy time of year. As we continue to work to improve our community, if you have any ideas or suggestions please let us know because some of the best improvements are ones that a resident sees and brings to our attention. Together we can continue to work to make Mason the best hometown in Texas, and that works best when we all contribute our individual share and talent.
Your friend and neighbor, Brent