Tuesday, January 16, 2018 Login
City of Mason, Texas Mason, Texas - Gem of the Hill Country Lone Star Cut Topaz - Official Gemstone of Texas!
 

City Hall 

P.O. Box 68
Mason, TX  76856

124 Moody Street
Phone: 325-347-6449
Fax: 325-347-5955

Emergency, Weekend and
After Hours Telephone Numbers

       Electric           
347-2247

Water & Wastewater
347-2245

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For RV & Tent Camping  Reservations

Fort Mason City Park

1015 San Antonio Hwy (Hwy 87 N)

Mason, TX 76856

             325-347-2064            

   
Park entrance

CITY COMMISSION REGULAR MEETING Monday January 15, 2018@ 5:30

Richard P. Eckert Civic Center

~SAVE TIME AND MONEY~

  •  ~HAVE YOUR UTILITY PAYMENT WITHDRAWN AUTOMATICALLY~
  • ~SEE DIRECT PAYMENT UNDER  DOWNLOADABLE FORMS~
  • ~OR CALL THE CITY OFFICE 325-347-6449 FOR MORE INFORMATION~

CALL BEFORE YOU DIG ! 

      IT'S THE LAW: Call 1-800-245-4545 or 811 before you dig. You may also go online at www.texasonecall.com and click "For Excavators" for additional information.

The City of Mason is an Equal Opportunity Employer; 

Supporter of Equal Housing Opportunity; Citizen Participation; the Fair Housing Policy; and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

 

City of Mason leaf pick up has been delayed due to weather. 

Will resume as soon as possible.

 City Corner

CITY CORNER by Mayor Brent Hinckley

 

     I was rather surprised last week to see a news story from CBS News highlighting the issues regarding Radium in the Public Drinking Water systems throughout our country.  This is an issue, as was reported, for a majority of the municipal and private public water systems nationwide, however the article highlighted the fact that Texas leads the nation in this problem.  In addition, it quoted the Mayor and citizens of Brady, just up the road, about their high levels of radium and the cost and complexity of correcting the contamination.  Since I was not in any way contacted for this article, and our City Administrator has commented to only a few regional news sources since the original article,  I would like to assure our residents that the situation in Mason is considerably different than what is currently reported as a problem in some of our neighboring communities.  We all are impacted by the naturally occurring radionuclides that are in our soil, subsurface rocks and in our groundwater but there are distinct differences in how it affects our water and how we are each moving towards treating that problem.  The City of Mason, and I as Mayor, have been very aware of the radium contamination for many years, and we have taken direct steps to manage the well pumping and water distribution to reduce the level as much as possible.  Currently, using these management decisions we have reached a level of just under 6 pC/l (pico Curies per liter) in our latest quarterly test taken last October, which is considerably less than most of the other communities in our region.  The required level is 5 pC/l and we are actively working towards providing a water treatment system that will provide that level of “clean” water in the coming year or so. 

     As I have reported several times in the recent past, the City has completed the application for a loan/grant from Texas Water Development Board to pay for this treatment system, and this should be completed and funded in March or April of this spring.  At the same time our engineers are completing the planning and design for this treatment and working on getting the regulatory acceptances necessary, and it is expected that we will be under construction to resolve the problem within a few short months.  In addition, the solution to the Mason concerns will cost about $2,600,000 which includes some additional water pipes and a new ground water storage tank that in needed, which is much less than other towns are looking at.  Our loan is structured to be low-interest at less than 2%, and half of the total principal amount that we will borrow will be a grant under the TWDB’s loan forgiveness program for small, low income municipalities.  Therefore through a long term commitment we have made to work out the best solution to a complex problem in our community, we will be able to entirely meet the EPA water quality standards in the coming months. Also, the cost to our residents will be handled with little or no current change in our regular water utility rates and very minimal increases in the future.  I am very confident in saying that while radionuclides in the drinking water in Texas is a widespread problem, we in Mason are making wise progressive decisions as we address this problem and we will soon be able to provide completely clean drinking water for our community. 

     There are many complex issues that our City regularly faces, and like the water quality concerns most of them are resolved only with many meetings, hours of examination and considerable paperwork and studies.  All of this constant challenge of operating the “business” of providing the necessities and services that our residents expect is intended to be open and transparent, and if you have any questions or concerns we will be glad to discuss it with you and see how we can best provide answers.  I would encourage anyone with an interest in how your local government works to come to City Commission meetings or come by the City offices and ask questions or talk about how you would like our town to deal with the problems and possibilities.  And, as I have pointed out many times, each spring there are some positions on our City Commission open for election.  The best way to have an impact on our community is to be willing to provide the considerations, leadership and decision making required to keep our town improving and progressing as we move forward.  This spring two District Commissioners are open for this election as well as the office of Mayor, and if you are interested in running for any one of these positions I would be glad to visit with you about it.  There are some important and fairly complex issues that will need direction in the coming months, and there is a good deal of background information that is needed to make good decisions for our town, but I am always glad to spend some time talking with anyone about any of the issues we face locally.  It is important as we face issues like water quality, limited landfill space, regulating land use so neighbors can get along, and the many other problems that face any community that there be wise, concerned and informed people willing to provide the time and effort to make good decisions.

      Another real problem that we seem to constantly face in City government is finding qualified and interested workers and employees to take care of the many facets of providing services to our residents.  We are constantly looking for new employees, and are almost always short on staff for various departments of the City.  Certainly at this time we are down three or four workers, and as we make plans and schedules for the many jobs that are needed in the coming weeks we are often frustrated by the limitations of our workforce.  There are two distinct ways our residents can help, first if you know of someone who might make a good employee for the City please send them down to the office to put in an application and if their experience and skills seem to fit with some of our needs we will schedule an interview.  But perhaps more importantly and something that everyone can help with as we struggle to meet all of the jobs and demands of our community, if you have a project that needs City attention and we have to delay getting to it while we work on other jobs, please be patient until we can get to your specific issue.  Whether it is leaf pickup, road and pothole repair, trash or recycling concerns, dealing with loose dogs or other animal problems, electrical service connections or any of the many other jobs our crews deal with each week, the City workers provide a full day of work every day.  And occasionally when they have plans to deal with some of these regular jobs, there is a water leak or an electrical line down that interrupts the schedule.  As you can see, with a limited work force and a wide range of jobs and problems, it is often impossible to deal with every area of work immediately, so again please be understanding and patient as we try to get all the jobs seen to.  Mason is a great hometown, and working together we will all contribute to making this a wonderful place to live and work.  

       
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