The city of Mason affectionately refers to (and markets) our town as the "Gem of the Texas Hill Country." It’s based on the stunning blue topaz that can be found around here in the beautiful creek beds that feed the winding Llano River. As many know, blue topaz is truly a treasure and it’s even recognized as the official Texas state gemstone.
Mason is a treasure. From the quaint town square to the rolling vistas to the history of our ancestors, what truly sets apart our hometown is the people who live here. We are part of the heritage that preserves what our fathers, mothers, grandparents, and their forefathers envisioned when they settled here so long ago. We don’t have a right; we have an obligation to ensure the land we adopted remains unscathed and that our children’s children enjoy the beauty of the same horizons we look upon. We must continue that tradition upon which has built Mason into the treasure that it is today.
However, that treasure could be on the verge of being tarnished.
The Kimble County Commissioners Court passed a resolution that proposes a new route for the LCRA/CREZ power transmission lines and support towers to move to and through Mason County, away from the originally designated area around Junction. This resolution, promoted by the Clear View Alliance, runs through some of the most scenic hill country in Mason County, and passes directly through the city of Mason, with 150 – 200 foot high steel lattice tower structures to accommodate the 345 kilovolt lines. Furthermore, officials familiar with the transmission line study say this proposed route would add $75 million dollars to the cost of the electrical transmission project. It simply makes sense to use the original LCRA routing which takes advantage of the existing I-10 corridor and directly merges with the population the transmission line is intended to serve.
On a personal front, our family’s land would be completely changed with exceedingly negative effects on the landscape and wildlife while hindering our ability to work with the land and make it profitable, as our ancestors have for the last 5 generations. I want my children and grandchildren to enjoy and experience this land as my family has since the 1850’s.
Just as a neighbor who helps when another needs a hand, the LCRA/CREZ project provides an opportune time for our community to come together. This isn’t about a few landowners who are negatively impacted by this project, but it is about an entire community who faces a battle to preserve the treasure we enjoy each and every day. I ask that you get involved, write to the Public Utilities Commissioners, the LCRA, your State Senator and Representative, join the Texas Hill Country Heritage Association, attend the town hall meetings and have your voice be heard. Mailing addresses can be obtained from the THCHA web site to write to the different authorities.
We are privileged to be a part of a community in which local government officials are willing to fight outside interests for the betterment of our community. Support, encourage and thank all the members of the Mason Sub-Planning Commission for their important work.
Let’s preserve our little gem that we know and love.