Last week I wrote a long article about the Transmission Line issue and decision status, and I appreciate Gerry putting it on the front page so that everyone would have a good idea about the status and steps still to go. This week I can report that the next step has been taken, and I believe that we in Mason can be pleased with the results. On Thursday, the Administrative Law Judges delivered their decision and recommendations and no part of their deliberations support any portion of the new transmission line being built in Mason County. The Judges recommended selection of the PUC Staff’s Recommended Route MK15 that runs cross country from the new McCamey D substation (Eldorado area) to I-10 west of Junction, parallels I-10 with one brief detour until just past the Kerr/Gillespie county line, bypasses Kerrville to the north, then runs southeast into northern Kerr County and then along other right of ways into the Kendall substation. The entire report is over 110 pages long, but one thing comes out clearly is the reasons to avoid the undisturbed heart of the Hill Country, and in particular Mason. There will still be public meetings of the Public Utility Commissioners in January in which the final decision is made, and they can reverse all other recommendations, but in the next month we will be finished with this challenge to our scenic heritage and locally we feel even more encouraged in our "cautious optimism".
Around the City things are continuing with the Christmas holidays just around the corner. The City will be closed Thursday and Friday this week, and Friday next week (Dec. 31) so don’t expect anyone to answer the phone at City Hall. Trash pickup will be on Mondays for our Friday customers, and if you need emergency help call our stand-by crews at 347-2247 for electric assistance, or 347-2245 for water and waste water assistance. Our fall leaf pickup will continue during the days we are working, and we have already made two complete circuits of town and are working on our third trip through the neighborhoods to help with this annual chore. The other activities of the City are in good shape and our crews continue to work to provide the services you expect of your hometown.
I hope you have had some time to drive around town and enjoy the many holiday lights and special displays throughout our community. The lights around the square and on the other buildings around town lend a special atmosphere of peace and preparation, the Light Tree in Heritage Park is a special experience for the child in all of us, and every day it seems that another home is lit up and decorated as we all prepare for the time of wonder that is Christmas. I hope that you, your friends and neighbors, and all of your family are especially blessed this Christmas season with the love, joy and peace that are our promise in these days, as we celebrate the wonderful birth of God’s own Son into our world so long ago, and yet so very present in this day and age. As we celebrate this Christmas, and as we come to the end of this year, I pray that your life continues to be blessed with all the good things that the Almighty gifts us with, and that this community continues to thrive and prosper as the very best hometown in Texas.
Your friend and neighbor, Brent Hinckley