The past couple of weeks have been busy around the City offices and for the City Commission. The water tower on the west side of town continues to be assembled and should begin to take shape in the next couple of weeks as the main water bowl is raised into place. The Electric department is continuing to work on the improvement of the distribution system on the west side of town and should conclude that part of the work in the next few weeks. We have had a breakdown with one of our major pieces of equipment at the landfill, and although the City Commission has budgeted to replace it during the next year, we are looking at approving that purchase even sooner than anticipated. The City Commission met in a special session last Saturday, October 18, to hear the legal analysis from our Assistant City Attorney from Austin, and after two hours of discussions and questions on a specific city improvement issue, no firm decision was made at that time. On Monday, October 27, the City Commission will meet again to discuss and reach decisions on the approval and payment method to purchase a new landfill compactor, to consider amending the city budget before the end of the fiscal year on October 31 to meet state financial requirements, and to determine the direction we will take in dealing with a couple of specific drainage issues in the city. There are always activities going on in Mason, but it seems that the past couple of weeks have been particularly challenging to complete all of the work that needs to get done this fall.
One note of good news involves the increase in rates for city services that were approved by the City Commission in September in order to balance the budget for the coming year. Although the rates were approved for approximately a ten percent increase beginning November 1, it appears that you will not see the actual increase in your monthly utility bills until about the first of the year. Because our utilities are billed based on usage ending the 20th of each month, your November bill, which is not due until December 1, includes eleven days of October utility usage at the old rates and it would not be appropriate to raise the rates on that usage. Thus, the first bill that will be entirely based on usage covered by the new rates will be the December bill for usage from November 20 until December 20, and that bill will not be due until after the first of the year. All of our citizens and customers need to be aware that we will be increasing water, garbage and electric rates to pay for the increased expenses of running the city, but those increases will not be reflected until your utility bills which will come in late December. If you have more questions, please call the city offices and ask for further explanations. Also, as we begin the new fiscal year for the city on November 1, we the City Commission need to hear from you if you have ideas, suggestions or concerns about how your city operates. It seems to me that there have been many changes and improvements in the City of Mason during the past few years, and I hope that you agree that we are heading in the right directions. However, as a public servant we can never truly serve our citizens and lead the city in the right directions unless you take the time to let us know what you want to see in the future. We want to hear from our citizens, and it is only when you talk to your elected representatives that our entire community will grow and improve and become the very best hometown in Texas.
Your friend and neighbor, Brent Hinckley