New developments occurred this past week in the considerations for routing new transmission lines from the wind power projects in west Texas to the metropolitan areas of San Antonio. LCRA Transmission Services Corporation and the staff of the Public Utilities Commission recommended a delay in the filing dates and an expansion of the study area for these transmission routes. There are a number of potential routes under review, and one of the specific routes that has been opened up for consideration parallels an existing West Texas Utility easement that runs through Menard, Mason and Fredericksburg.
The route under consideration circles the City of Mason on the west and south boundaries and would involve numerous electric towers that might be as much as 180 feet tall. These would be highly visible on the horizon to the west of town on the ridge just beyond the city limits, and on the south just beyond the site of Fort Mason. If this route were chosen, this would pose a very unsightly intrusion on the historic and scenic nature of our rural town, and would be a blight on the natural beauty our residents enjoy, as well as a burden to the tourism trade, for many years to come.
Because of the potential impact on the City of Mason, Mayor Brent Hinckley has called a special Town Hall meeting on Monday, September 28, 2009 at 2:00 in the afternoon, at the Richard P. Eckert Civic Center, 1024 McKinley Ave. All citizens and elected officials of Mason are invited to attend this meeting, and representatives of LCRA will be present to explain the criteria, processes and deadlines involved in determining the best routing for these transmission lines. It is important that we be informed and aware of the issues and decisions made by state agencies such as PUC, and how they may affect our community.