In my experience very few people want to hear bad news, and so most of the time when someone asks me how things are going my immediate response is that "things are just fine!" Of course sometimes that is stretching the facts considerably, but most of the time things are going very well around the City. The last couple of weeks have been a little less "wonderful" in a couple of areas of city business as we have worked to meet some regulatory issues and change some of our operating procedures to make things work better. The city crews have been working on the waste water treatment plant for the past few weeks to resolve some issues and make the whole plant work better for the future. We have drained one of the treatment ponds and will be filling a couple of feet of dirt into it to allow sunlight to better effect the treated water. In this process we will also add a fresh bentonite layer to provide an additional seal in the bottom of the pond, and we will also rearrange some of the final drain lines and sand filters so that the clarity of the effluent is consistent and meets our permit. There are several other changes to be completed over the next several months at the waste water plant, but when we are finished it will serve our community better than before and for many years to come.
We also had an inspection at the landfill recently, and this was the first such inspection in four years and therefore we found a few problems that needed attention. There was some prohibited waste that we had allowed into the landfill, in this case a couple of old tires that are not allowed by our permit, and we immediately removed them from the waste area and stored them in another place for later disposal. We also had some problems with the daily and intermediate cover of the waste, but within a week our crews had worked hard and the immediate problems were resolved. The same was true of easement and grid markers that were replaced or repainted within a couple of days of the inspection, and erosion gullies and some areas of ponding of water were also addressed before the week was out. In all the inspector noted nine alleged violations, and yet within seven days every one of them had been addressed and most all of them had been resolved because the City has made the commitment to respond and correct any problems that arise due to the environmental regulations of TCEQ.
Mason is a wonderful place to live and work, and although there are occasional problems they are all just part of the daily challenge of meeting the needs of our community. One of the jobs of the City is to meet all of the regulatory responsibilities that go along with the various services we provide our citizens, and I can assure you that your city staff is prepared to go the extra mile to do just that. We have also had crews out identifying and patching pot holes on several of the nicer weather days in the past few weeks, and that is part of our goal of serving and meeting the needs that citizens express to us. That is another way we work to serve you, even in the areas that have no specific regulations. If you have a problem, if you see something that needs to be done, or if you have an idea that might help us serve our community better, we are all ready and willing to listen and respond as best as we can. Let us hear from you with your suggestions or concerns and we will all work together to make Mason the very best hometown in Texas.
Your friend and neighbor, Brent Hinckley