Just before school starts every year things seem to slow down around the City office. Many of our citizens are busy with their last plans for the summer, or are buying school clothes and supplies, and we do not have as many work orders to deal with. The City budget is being finalized and there are just a few more adjustments to make to balance the spending and income for the coming year. The City Commission and Staff is discussing some increases in the rates for services such as garbage and water to cover the increasing costs, but I will present that in a future article when the consideration is more definite. It has been several years since the rates have been increased and many of our expenses have been climbing so I am afraid that some increases are inevitable. Generally it is pretty quiet around Mason, and that is a good thing once in a while.
As many of you know, last Wednesday LCRA presented their "preferred" route for the Transmission Line from west Texas to the metro areas, and Mason County was not affected by the choice they recommended. After the many months of activity, meetings and discussion it was with a sigh of relief that we received the news that the routing would avoid Mason, but there continues to be concern and an awareness of the decision process. The Public Utilities Commission now has 180 days to review the proposal and make a final decision, and the local group has already filed to intervene so that they can keep the Mason perspective in view. We hope that this will be the end of the threats of a high voltage Transmission Line in our community for many years to come, but we are also aware that until the final comments and decision is made in January 2011 there is no guarantee that changes might not occur that would negatively impact our County. I will continue to keep you aware of the issues as they might arise, but I am sure that most of us would be relieved to put this "big bureaucracy" land grab behind us and get on with our peaceful rural lives.
Please note that we will be closing the City swimming pool in a couple of weeks when school starts and our lifeguards are no longer available. If you have a pool party in mind, call the City office and book it right away. Also, we are continuing to look at the budget and ways we can provide the services you want and keep the costs under control. If you have any ideas, suggestions or concerns please contact me and I will gladly listen and see if there are ways we can meet your needs. Mason is a great hometown, and we will continue to do everything possible to maintain the benefits and heritage we have and make the changes that will improve our community in the months and years to come.
Your friend and neighbor, Brent Hinckley