Last week’s newspaper had several articles about the upcoming Open House that LCRA is hosting to inform the public and solicit input regarding the transmission lines and the potential routes that might impact Mason, and I hope you read it and are ready to respond. Next Wednesday, February 17, between 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. at the Community Building in the City Park, you can come and find out everything that LCRA is willing to share about this project. They have not yet determined exactly which route will be recommended as the "preferred" route, and that leaves several options open between now and July 6 when they will make public their suggestions. After that the PUC commissioners will have another six months to decide exactly which route will be built, and other particulars about the project, so we will not really have a decision on this issue for several more months. However, our community needs to be alert and share our concerns now and not expect that everything will be just fine just because we do not see the reasoning or logic behind choosing a route that would come through Mason. If you would like to see a large scale map of the routes that are being considered, we have assembled the six pages from LCRA into a single map and have it for your consideration at the City office.
I want everyone to consider trying to make time to attend the Open House next Wednesday. I realize it might conflict with special church services since that is also Ash Wednesday, but it is important for everyone in our community to make an effort to let your opinion be known to the people who will be making decisions that will affect our town and our county. As one person I was visiting with mentioned, it might not directly affect you or your property, but it may greatly affect your neighbors and we cannot afford to sit back today and allow such a negative impact to affect all of us for generations to come. I hope several hundred people will make an effort to be there next Wednesday; my own personal wish is for a thousand citizens to show up and make our voice heard with LCRA and the PUC. As a second way to share your opinions, it is still a good idea to write to the Commissioners of the PUC to make your suggestions and to have it entered into the public record on this subject. I am not sure if each letter is read and considered, but as one representative remarked, "letters might shape the Commission’s opinions about the issues" and as such are a valuable tool to make our concerns known. I hope that you will take every avenue available to you to help fight the possible changes and the negative impact they will make on the scenic beauty of our county, and I hope that I can count on you to join me at the Community Building next Wednesday.
There are certainly a few changes going on around the City, the most important being that Monday was the first day for the new City Administrator to be on duty at the City Office. If you see John Palacio around town please welcome him back to our community and offer your help and suggestions on how to improve our town. We also had a City Commission meeting Monday night, and next week I will share a few of the changes and decisions that are coming to our town. If you have any questions, suggestions or complaints, please let me know and together we can work together to build our community and make Mason the very best hometown in Texas.
Your friend and neighbor, Brent Hinckley