The major source of discussion and concerns around Mason for past couple of weeks has been the possibility of a large transmission line being planned through Mason County and its effects on our community. On Thursday last week the PUC formally approved the extension of the study area and a delay in the filing dates for the study, due to the large number of comments and concerns about other routing suggestions. Now Mason faces the task of responding appropriately to this challenge to our scenic and historical heritage as LCRA takes the time to adequately study and prepare alternate routes for these high power transmission lines. We have started looking for options and voicing our opinions with a Town Hall meeting on Monday that was attended by more than 100 concern citizens, and there will be many more opportunities for our community to be heard in the coming months. One of the points that seemed to be on the top of the agenda was to make people aware that LCRA is not in favor of a route that would pass through Mason County, but they must study it and take into consideration the opposition from local individuals. The important point is to determine the negative impact this routing of the transmission lines might have on you, you family, your property, your community, your business or any other specific personal impact, as these are the concerns that seem to be of most importance to the planners and the PUC. This issue will be a major concern of all of the elected officials for the next several months, and this is a time when every concerned citizen needs to take the time to be sure that your voice is heard and your opinions are expressed to the proper authorities. More information and gatherings will be available in the future and we will try to keep you informed of opportunities for feedback and comment. If you have questions please contact your elected official and we will try to provide direct answers, and we will try to have all important printed materials here at the City Office for anyone to stop in and pick up.
Other issues around the City are fairly mundane and the general business of running the municipal services is progressing smoothly. The City has already approved the budget for the coming year and set the tax rates, and in the process did not raise any fees or rates for any city services. We have an outside contractor coming into town to thoroughly clean some of the sewer lines, so be aware of extra workmen around town this week. Our regular electric department crews are out replacing some old poles and accomplishing regular maintenance, and the other departments are working hard to keep up with the day to day jobs. I should point out that the Street Department installed the signs in the School Zones that make it an offense to be talking on a cell phone in those areas while driving. I mentioned this in a previous column, but now the Sheriff’s officers will stop you and give you a ticket if you are observed, so please ignore your calls until an appropriate time. It might not be polite, but it is safer and a lot cheaper.
As I have said many times before, Mason is a wonderful place to call home. But like the house that you actually live in, it requires a certain amount of regular maintenance and upkeep. As a community it is not really possible for one person to do all of the upkeep or even know all of the things that need to be done. There is a lot that we, as your elected officials, can see about doing but it is up to all of the citizens that call Mason “home” to help and keep us informed of the issues that need attention. If you have a problem, a concern or a suggestion, please let us know and we will see about how we can improve our community together. Working together and communicating on a regular basis we will continue to build our home into the best hometown in Texas, one we can all be proud of and one we can pass on to future generations with pride.
Your friend and neighbor,