With the cooler weather for the past several weeks it really feels like fall has come and broken the heat of summer. It is still warm in the middle of the afternoon, but the mornings and evenings are very pleasant and we all feel like getting more done and working to prepare for hunting season and the holidays just around the corner. The City begins its fiscal year on November 1 and so we are working to finish up the projects that are underway and start fresh in a couple of weeks with a clean slate and fresh reports and books.
Most of our residents have dealt with the rate changes that affected the October bills, and we are aiming to keep the electric rate as low as reasonable and not increase that portion of your bills, and keep the rest of your bill steady for a long time to come. With the cooler weather, we are seeing less usage in electricity, as well as water, so I think we can all look forward to a reduced utility bill next month. We have also started a special program to provide a Utility Assistance Coupon to our older citizens who are on limited and fixed incomes, and as of today we have helped 43 residents to pay their increased utility bills without dramatically affecting their budget. To help offset the increase in the solid waste and garbage fees, we are planning some free dump days on November 12 and 13 to allow our residents to clean up around their property without being impacted by changed rates. Now will be a good time to plan on using this free dump weekend to clean up around town before the holidays and before the chill of winter comes.
There are a few other projects that are getting under way around town also. On the north side along Pontotoc St. there should be some construction starting in the next week or so on the extension of the water mains in that area of town. If you live or drive in that area, be extra alert for heavy equipment and workers during the next couple of months as our contractors dig the trenches and place the water lines along the streets and right of ways. Also, at the Eckert Civic Center the City work crews have started the construction on a restroom and reverse osmosis station building just to the east of the existing building. The foundation has been poured and in the next few weeks the building should be up and recognizable, so if you are in that area stop by and see our crew’s handiwork.
Here in the City office we are working on several other projects and keeping up with the constant stream of paperwork that comes our way. We are working on another grant to improve our Recycling Center with some needed equipment; and I am working with TxDOT to complete an application for a new program that might assist us in funding some much needed sidewalk repairs and improvements around the Square. I am very committed to working to make our sidewalks safer and more pedestrian friendly, and I will not stop until I find some way to help pay for what will likely be a rather expensive improvement on what has been a problem for decades. As always, there is a lot happening around Mason and a wide variety of different projects to make our town a better place to live and work. If you have ideas, or if you would like to know more about these or any other issues around town, just come by the City office or stop me around town and Ii will be glad to talk about it. Together we are working to make this the best hometown in Texas, and every step brings us closer to that goal.
Your friend and neighbor, Brent Hinckley