Halloween and hunting season are both just around the corner, and the weather seems to change every day from cool to hot to cool again. We continue to be busy around the City, with crews building the restroom/reverse osmosis addition at the Civic Center and a contractor excavating along Pontotoc St. to install a new large water line to service the north side of town. Our crews are also working to keep up with changes at the sewer plant, increase the efficiency and accuracy of our meter reading and to finish the final stages of upgrading the electric distribution system around town. If you see something else around town that needs attention, we are always ready to hear about it and see how we can fix any problems as fast as reasonable, so just stop by the City office and let us know how we can serve you best.
At our recent City Commission meeting, a representative of the EMS and ambulance service made some comments about the need for better signage around town so that they can find every address in an emergency. We have been looking for missing street signs, and will order them and get new ones up as we are aware of missing ones, but we need your help also. If you see a street sign that is missing, please call the office at 347-6449 and let us know where it should be and we will add it to our list. Also, it is the responsibility of each resident to put reflective house numbers on your property so that you can be located, night or day, when emergencies arise. It would be good to stand out in the street, look carefully for traffic first, and see if your house number can be identified easily so that there is never a delay at those times when it is most important. You might also encourage your neighbors to be sure their homes are identified, and together we can all make Mason a safer and better place to live and work.
A brief update on the CREZ transmission line decision and the surrounding controversy about that routing plan. This week and next there are judicial hearings in Austin on this specific issue, and a number of Mason residents have previously submitted written testimony for which they are being called in to be cross examined. There are several hundred witnesses, and the hearings are tightly scheduled for only this two week period. I applaud all of the local experts that have been willing to spend hours writing and then a special trip to defend their positions on why it would be a very bad idea to spoil Mason county with a transmission line path through our scenic part of the Hill Country. At the end of the hearings, there is still the final decision of the three Commissioners of the PUC which will decide where exactly this line will be built, but we are feeling cautiously optimistic that Mason might be avoided altogether. The PUC staff has recommended an alternative route that utilizes a part of the right-of-way of I-10, and the further from Mason they consider routing that line, the better all of us will feel. They have indicated also that the PUC will reach a decision ahead of the January deadline, so I am hoping the we can favorably get this behind us before the first of the year.
This week the City Administrator, John Palacio, and I are going to a Municipal conference in Corpus Christi for a few days to look for new ways we can improve Mason, and then the next couple of weeks I will be out of town with Monica for a much needed two week vacation. I will not be writing a City Corner column for a few weeks, and if you have some concern or need a problem dealt with while I am gone please let the city staff know and they will do all they can to help. The first thing I always notice as soon as I get out of Mason is how much I enjoy this special place I get to live and work. Mason is truly the best hometown in Texas, and beyond, and I already look forward to being back and refreshed in a couple of weeks.
Your friend and neighbor, Brent Hinckley