We are all enjoying the sunshine, wildflowers and warm breezes of spring time, and as Mason tries to do every spring, we are planning a Spring Clean-up and Free Dump at the landfill this week. It is scheduled for tomorrow, Friday and Saturday and we will be accepting refuse at the landfill from all city and county residents. We will have the landfill open regular hours Thursday from 8:00am until 5:00pm, and from 8:00am till noon on Saturday, April 17. We have received special permission from TCEQ, and will be extending the landfill hours for Friday evening, April 16, until 8:00 pm. so that people can take advantage of the free dumping until dark. Since we are working to help our citizens clean up their homes, we will not be able to accept commercial or construction debris during this time. We are hoping to encourage everyone to clean-up and so the City will also have another trailer for the collection of used auto tires that will be parked at the Recycle Center during all of the scheduled hours. However, this time the cost of the tire recycling will have to be covered by the City, so the Commission decided that each person bringing tires would be charged $1.00 per tire and we would limit the customer to only 8 tires per household and only accept passenger or light truck tires. We will be collecting tires, batteries, used electronic equipment, paper, cardboard and plastics at the Recycling Center on Ave F during this Spring Clean-up, but some of the items we collected last spring, such as paint, cannot be collected this year. If you need more information call the city office at 347-6449, and start planning your clean up around the house so that we can all work together to make our town and our entire community clean and neat.
Everything else seems to be working well lately and the staff and crews are keeping up with the regular duties around the City. Two new employees have been hired, and extra effort is going into keeping the grass mowed and the landscape trimmed around all of the City properties. The new City Administrator, John Palacio is working hard to keep up with all of the day to day business around Mason, and last week he and I went to a special forum on Economic Development that we hope will help as we look to the future. If you have any concerns or questions let either he or I know and we will gladly see how we can best serve our community needs.
One small change that we are working on is to find the best and most efficient way to read the utility meters around town. For the past several months we have tried various ways to speed up this regular chore, and some have worked better than others to provide added consistency for our customers. One of the goals has been to find the best way to even out the reading period so that each individual meter is read about the same time each month and in addition the total reading is completed in a timely manner for our computer billing staff. We hope that we have eliminated some less successful schedules, and I know that some residents have received bills that were larger or smaller than expected because of the inconsistency of reading times. With the spring weather and many of us leaving the windows open and the air conditioning off, we should all have reduced utility bills for a while and I know that the overall City electric wholesale bill was more than 30% less this month than last. If you have had a concerns about variable utility bills, be assured that the City has not changed any of the utility rates in a couple of years, and the unit cost of electricity and water has remained the same for the same usage, but the variation has been because of more or less days in the billing cycle. We are working to eliminate that variation in the future, and I hope you see better consistency in the next few months, but if you have continuing concerns let us know and we will work to be sure everyone is billed fairly for their utility usage.
Mason is a great place to live, and this spring as I have been to three different conferences in different cities I have been even more aware of how very nice my hometown really is. Together we will continue to improve and make Mason better, and we can continue to proudly say that this is the very best hometown in Texas.
Your friend and neighbor, Brent Hinckley