Mason County News
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City Corner
Wednesday, November 16, 2011 • Posted November 16, 2011

Many of the projects and services that the City of Mason deals with are seldom seen by the average citizen living in town. For that reason a couple of significant “celebrations” at the City office are perhaps a mystery to the public, but represent major milestones in our goals to provide outstanding service for the residents. In just the past couple of weeks our City Electric crews have completed a major upgrade to the distribution system that has been ongoing over the past decade or more. The entire City system is now on the high voltage 7200 system and the old 2400 volt system has been completely turned off. This will result in much more consistent power distribution for everyone and will reduce the line loss of electricity from the power lines throughout town. The electric crews have been working on this conversion for many years and have replaced all of the transformers, transmission lines and many of the poles and cross-arms in the process and thus our entire electric system has been effectively rebuilt and improved in this process. The average resident of Mason will continue to flip the switch, turn on the light and have no idea that the city-wide distribution system is now completely “new and improved”. However from the viewpoint of the City administration and crews this is a major step in providing an updated and efficient service for our community and the residents of our town.The second project that has recently been completed is the installation of electronic water meters for all of our customers in Mason. This has been a recent project and the City hired a contractor to install the meters throughout town, so the completion was much quicker but the final benefit will also be fairly dramatic. With this system in place, the City can now read all of the water meters in a couple of hours time with an accuracy that was completely unavailable before. Another benefit is that in this project all of the water meters were replaced with new and more accurate meters. Previously some of the meters in town were thirty and even forty years old and when we tested some of them it was evident that they were under-reading water consumption by over 30%! Some people may have higher water bills in the future, but the reality is that now they will just be paying their fair share for the water they have actually used, and the entire city water supply will benefit from the accurate billing and reduction in the unnoticed waste. Another significant advantage is that if you have questions about your water usage, we can track the past several month’s data and show you when and exactly how much water has flowed through your meter. Dealing with dissatisfied water customers is one of the consistent utility problems we have in the City, and this system is an accurate, up-to-date and significantly improved way to meet the needs of our community. Other things are going well around town with very few major problems or issues. The electric crews have started checking the Christmas lights around the square in preparation for the coming season, the water crews are turning their attention to the regular maintenance and repairs that always show up, and the rest of the City workers are going about their daily routines and keeping the services and utilities functioning as expected. They do a great job, and if you see a City worker in the next few days you might want to tell them thanks for the little things they do every day to help provide a clean, safe and pleasant hometown for all of us.

Your friend and neighbor, Brent Hinckley

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