The City crews continue to be busy taking care of several projects around town. The Street department continues to work at cleaning the edges of the streets and cutting tree limbs that overhang the roadways and drag on the school buses and other vehicles. This is a problem all around town, and although they recently worked around the schools to provide good access and visibility, they will be continuing to work at a number of locations that have been noted as being a problem. If you see the crews and the warning signs, please drive careful and be alert to the work going on. I want to thank the crews for the hard work and the good looks of the areas they have already completed, but this is a big project that will take many more weeks of work.
The Water and Wastewater crews, along with some help from the Electric department, have been working at one of the least pleasant worksites the City has. They have spent a couple of weeks installing new aerators at the sewer plant in two of the ponds to increase the oxygen content and reduce the algae growth. These will help the plant function much better, and in the few days that they have been operating since being installed we have already noted a significant improvement in the functioning of the sewer plant and hope that we will soon have reached the level of treatment that we have been seeking for several years. This is not one of the City services that is visible or even considered by most residents, but it is a system that we need to function properly and a problem that only gets worse if we do not deal with the issues now.
As we continue to deal with the daily projects and concerns around the City, one of the regular issues is just around the corner and if you are concerned you need to let us know. Next month the City Commission will be considering for final approval the Budget for the coming fiscal year, and looking at the tax rate and the utility rates and service fees that must be considered to provide the revenues to meet that budget. We have been very careful to keep the expenses and spending under tight monetary control, and we are looking at a very limited increase in property taxes as is noted in the ad elsewhere in this paper. In addition the Commission will be considering an increase in several of the rates and fees in the coming year to bring the revenues up to meet the expectations our citizens have for the City services. It has been three years since most of these rates and fees were increased, and as most everyone knows costs have continued to rise, and so we now are anticipating an increase to meet the increasing costs we have in running the City. If you have concerns, a copy of the budget as well as the proposed rate and fee schedule is available for your inspection in the City office, and I or any of the elected officials would be glad to visit with you about the needs and your concerns.
We at the City are working hard to improve our town in many ways, whether it is the streets you drive on everyday or the sewer plant that you will probably never see. If you have an idea or a suggestion of some way we can improve our community, we would be very glad to hear from you. The City staff and your elected officials are here to help you and to listen to your concerns, and together we can all work together to improve our community and make Mason the best hometown in Texas.
Your friend and neighbor, Brent Hinckley