The City of Mason takes care of a very wide variety of services and projects including water and sewer, garbage and recycling, electric service, parks and streets, just to name a few. Each week around the City brings a new problem, and it always seems to be something that none of us ever thought about before. Last week we found a problem that just two weeks ago we did not even know to look for. The bridge on Post Hill Street between the jail and the county library is used every day, and was heavily travelled during the Round-up weekend with the parade line-up, and we checked it then and cleaned up around it and saw no problems. Last week we discovered that the bottom of the concrete driving surface on one section of that bridge had literally just “fallen off” onto the sand of the creek! Our City engineer as well as TxDOT engineers who specialize in road and bridge structures have looked at it and recommended that we close the affected lane, but the other lane is safe at the present time. If you drive that way you will see that we have set cones and painted new striping that makes that a one lane bridge now for your safety, and we have begun looking into plans and costs to replace that bridge with a new and structurally sound bridge. All of our City bridges are inspected by TxDOT engineers every two years, and many of the structures around town are recognized as old and in need of replacement, but when a situation arises that threatens the safety of our residents we will take immediate action to address the problem. Another City activity in that area of town that will be changing soon is the public swimming pool next to the Historical Building and the Library. We were able to open the pool on Memorial Day weekend this year and have had a good season with many swimmers, but we are being forced to close the pool for regular swimming hours at the end of this month because of a lack of available lifeguards. Several of our lifeguards are involved with football as players or trainers and start their practices on August 1, and we are left with only one lifeguard during regular hours which is inadequate to keep the pool open. We will be able to provide lifeguards for the private parties that have been reserved, but as of August 1 we will no longer have regular swimming hours at the pool. We would like to keep the pool open longer with the continuing hot weather, but with the other commitments our school kids have unless we can get some adult lifeguards with the proper certificates who would be available, we are unable to provide for the safety of our swimmers. There are other issues facing the City this summer, but we are working to come up with positive solutions that will meet everyone’s needs. We will be completing the budget process for the coming fiscal year during the next six weeks, and we are looking at some particular projects so that we can provide better city services and manage the funding. We are also looking into some changes in the staffing for the City, but we hope that when all the dust settles we will be better prepared to provide the services you expect and our community needs. Together we are working to make Mason better, and we hope our residents as well as our friends and family know that this is the best hometown in Texas.
Your friend and neighbor, Brent Hinckley