Next week starts off with the Fourth of July and we at the City hope that everyone has a safe and pleasant celebration. The City offices will be closed for the day so that we can all celebrate our patriotic heritage, but remember that fireworks are prohibited throughout the County due to the very dry conditions and the threat of wildfire. The end of next week will be another local celebration time with the Round-up weekend parade and rodeo. The City crews are working to get everything ready so that the activities will flow easily and there will not be any difficulties due to street closures, extra power usage or any other City services that we can anticipate. I wish we could arrange for a couple of days of cool weather, but that is beyond the power of the City to provide; however, we are working to do all that we can to make this a great weekend. The hot and dry weather continues and as we announced last week the public water system of the City of Mason has reached a serious condition recently through excess usage, and the City has implemented additional water conservation measures. While there are widespread drought conditions throughout Texas and other Hill Country communities have critical water issues, we do not anticipate great water restrictions in Mason but we do feel it is necessary to move beyond voluntary measures to protect the water levels and availability for everyone. The City of Mason will now begin enforcing mandatory water conservation measures throughout the community, and rather than immediately banning the use of water for outdoor sprinkling, we will limit each water customer to watering only once a week and only between the hours of 7:00 pm and 9:00 am, or hand watering at any time. Our concern is primarily to reduce the evaporation that occurs when you water as the temperature is rising or already extremely hot, and we hope that our residents will understand that all the water the grass drinks up only reduces the water in the aquifer that our citizens can drink. We hope that everyone will cooperate and limit all non-essential water use. We have now begun to monitor water use and will issue warnings and turn off unnecessary water uses as well as water sprinklers running during the heat of the day. Beginning July 11 we will shift from monitoring and warnings to issuing citations and fines for watering other than between 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. and for other non-essential water use or waste. As the hot summer winds continue to blow and the drought conditions only worsen we may have to move to a Level 3 Water Rationing stage, but we believe that with your help and cooperation we may not need to move to that restrictive stage. Your grass and plantings may suffer a little, but we are most concerned to protect the water supply which comes from the Hickory Aquifer. If we are not careful with our water use the negative impacts from depleting that water source will affect everyone in this community. As we try to protect the health and safety of our town, we hope that you will help in your own individual way and that we will soon be blessed with rain that might limit this current drought.I hope that everyone has a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July this weekend, and that you make plans to enjoy the hometown events of Round-up Weekend in a week. It may be hot outside, but this is a great community to call home at this special time of the summer.
Your friend and neighbor, Brent Hinckley