The rains a week ago were a very welcome relief from the dry days, and the cooler weather is giving us a taste of fall after a very long hot summer. Even with four inches of rain around most of the County, we are still well below the yearly average rainfall and the countryside still is dry and brown, now with just a haze of green. It is still very important to avoid outdoor fires so as to protect life and property from the possibility of wildfire, and we still need to watch our water usage to preserve as much of that precious resource as possible. However, we at the City are mindful of the citizen’s concerns, and with the start of this week we have expanded the acceptable hours for our residents to take care of yard watering. Because of the shortening of the days as we start into fall, it is dark until seven in the morning and only stays light until about 7:30 each evening, so we are going to extend the watering hours to be from 5:00 pm until 10:00 am each day. This will allow our residents who have to move sprinklers or connect soaker hoses a few extra hours of daylight to take care of this chore. The primary goal of limiting the hours for yard watering is to prevent water evaporation during the middle of the day when the sun is hottest, and so keeping the watering schedule to the last couple of hours of the evening and the first three hours of the morning is the primary intent. We are still limiting each household to watering only once a week on the scheduled days and we are very appreciative of all of our residents who have been cooperative and limited their water usage. We have given out a few warnings, but as of this time we have not had to issue any tickets or levy any fines. Other things are going very well around the City and we are making remarkable progress in changing out the water meters around town. At this time most all of the residential meters have been changed and just a few of the larger commercial meters still need to be handled. There is still some of the paperwork and data entry into our computer system to finish, but this month the meter reading chore is being cut down to just about one day, and by next month the last couple of hundred meters will be installed and we should see the full value of this project. Another significant project is nearing completion also, the Reverse Osmosis water treatment equipment was delivered to the new building at the Civic Center last week. During the next couple of weeks the City crews will be installing the filtering equipment and the filling stations and testing the units, and then we will open it and make this treated water available to our citizens at no cost. This is a new service for our community that the City has been working to provide for many months now and I am pleased that we are nearing completion and will be able to open it to the public soon. I will give more information in next week’s column, so look for that soon. One last note, next Monday, October 24, will be our regularly scheduled City Commission meeting for this month. We have several items on the agenda such as budget revisions, opening the bids for the property known as the Northside Center, and some City contracts; however, as always we will open with Public Comments and if anyone in the area has concerns, questions, ideas or suggestions that the City Commission needs to hear we will be glad to listen and begin to take whatever action will best serve our community. Mason is a great hometown, and together we will continue to improve and keep our town working to meet the needs of every resident.
Your friend and neighbor, Brent Hinckley