Mason County News
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Wednesday, June 9, 2010 • Posted June 9, 2010

The City was saddened and surprised last week to learn of the untimely death of our long time employee, Charlie Banta. Charlie had worked for many years to keep our city landfill operating properly, and was always a smiling and helpful person who was willing to do whatever was needed to get the job done. The entire city staff was deeply saddened by the unexpected loss, and we all will miss his gentle caring presence. Whenever I think of "public service" I am deeply aware that much more "service" is done for our community by the quiet people that are behind the scenes than by all the leaders who occupy the spotlights. The strength of Mason lies in the many different people who continually serve our community in quiet ways and are willing to work without much praise to make our town the very best hometown in Texas. Charlie will be sincerely missed, and I am sorry that we did not have another opportunity to tell him a personal "thank you" for all he did for our City; but the truth is that it has served to remind all of us to be a little more aware and to express to one another our gratitude for all the little things that make this town a true community of friends and neighbors.

One piece of good news that has recently arrived in the City offices is the updated revision of our fire protection classification by the Insurance Services Office. We have been upgraded one classification point, from a class 6 to a class 5 since our last inspection several years ago, and this indicates our community is better served by our volunteer fire department and our City is providing better infrastructure to aid in fire fighting in Mason. The Fire Department improved in most every category, and the changes to the water distribution system the City has undertaken in the past three years made a difference in the rating. Our fire hydrant placement, inspection and condition were noted as being very satisfactory and scored nearly the maximum credit possible. This lower rating for our town will result in lower fire insurance premiums for your homeowner’s policy in the coming years and should result in more dollars staying in your pocket as we work to make Mason a better town for all of us to live and work in.

There are many different ways we in the City are working to make our town a better place. On Thursday, June 10 we will be in San Angelo to receive a $200,000 "check" from the Texas Department of Rural Affairs to help pay for the next phase of our water distribution improvement system. In addition, we are currently seeking emergency aid to help restore the roads that were damaged in the heavy rains recently. We have bought, with the help of another grant, more recycling trailers and have placed them around town and have already seen increased recycling, particularly at the city park and on the north-side at Comanche Creek Park, so keep up the good work. We have completed the annual audit of our funds and expect a very positive report on the financial health and strength of our city. All of the city crews are working together to provide the quality of service you expect, and the positive morale of the city employees is the best I have seen it in many years. We at the City are working to improve Mason, and we are seeing many of our citizens doing their part to benefit our community, and together we will make Mason the very best hometown in Texas. If you have ideas, suggestions or comments please let us know so that we can work to make the changes that you feel will best improve our community.

Your friend and neighbor,

Brent Hinckley

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