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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            

   
Weather Report - Conditions for Mason, TX at 1:54 am CDT
Currently 81°F
High 95°F
Low 74°F

Fair
2 Day Forecast
Sun Clear
High: 95°F Low: 74°F
Mon Sunny
High: 100°F Low: 74°F
Tue Sunny
High: 98°F Low: 73°F
Wed Partly Cloudy
High: 94°F Low: 73°F
Thu Partly Cloudy
High: 95°F Low: 73°F

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2012 Mason Roundup Parade Float

Water Conservation Restriction

Watering limited to1 time per week!

Watering Restrictions

Watering only allowed between 6PM and 9AM any 1 day per week!

PUBLIC HEARING FOLLOWED BY

CITY COMMISSIONER'S MEETING

August 11th at 5:30PM

Richard P. Eckert Civic Center

City Pool Closes August 16th
 City Corner

 

CITY CORNER by Mayor Brent Hinckley

 

     As I have mentioned in my column several times in the past couple of months, this is always the most challenging time of year for local governments as we all work to project revenues and expenses and arrive at a balanced budget for the next year.  We at the City finished our paperwork a couple of weeks ago, and the last time I saw the County Judge he was working on finishing his sixth draft so that he could finalize everything.  Both of us have to have public hearings in September and pass the annual budget as well as set the tax rate and other changes that might impact the financial health of the local government.  For the City we have set September 8 at 5:30 pm at the Eckert Civic Center as the time for our Public Hearing and final vote on these issues, and I want to be sure that anyone in the community that has issues or questions knows that we are glad to visit and answer your concerns between now and then or at the Hearing in ten days.

     The City budget is a little over $6,700,000 in total revenues and expenses, but we have worked with the many line items to arrive at a balanced budget with a very small surplus.  The tax rate is proposed to be increased just a small portion for the City, but be aware that less than 4% of all the taxes collected in Mason are for the City and we are planning only $13,000 additional revenue from property taxes.  These things are all pretty much standard and should not cause much concern, however our budget is also based upon some other utility and service rate increases and I believe that it is important that all of our residents are aware of those pending changes.  We have made some small changes to our rate schedule as changes occur, such as increasing the user fees for the Community Building if air conditioning or heating is used since we have significantly improved that building.  On the other hand, the rates that we are proposing to increase at this time have not been changed since September 2010, so they have been held steady for four years even in a time where the costs of everything else seems to be increasing significantly. 

       The utility and service rates that are being considered involve the water usage rates, garbage and landfill rates and the electric distribution and monthly base charge rates.  The water rates are being increased for greater usage, such as landscape watering during the summer, but the base charge is not being changed and the lower usage rates are not being as significantly changed.  In a typical household with 5000 gallons per month usage, the monthly bill would increase less than $1.50.  The standard monthly rate for garbage pickup for residential and commercial users will increase by $3.00 and larger users will increase proportionally, and we are planning to increase the general rate at the landfill by one cent per pound.  These two rates are anticipated to help in the coming months and years to provide for a new garbage truck that we are expecting to be required soon at a cost of over $250,000 and in addition we are beginning the long process of permitting and planning for an expansion of the existing landfill to meet the needs of future generations. 

       The other rate that we are proposing to increase is the electric distribution charges, with the monthly base rate increasing $2.00 for residential and the commercial rate increasing $3.00 for all of our customers.  We are also planning an increase in the local distribution charge just a little over 5% which will help with the increasingly complex electrical system that we have and any excess from that department is what helps to pay for the many services the City provides that do not pay for themselves, such as streets, parks, recycle and animal control.  We have also been told to expect some increases in the generation costs for power, so there is a good possibility that total electric costs will in actuality increase more than these numbers we have direct control over.  In order to continue to provide the many different services that everyone expects from our City, there has to be some income source and the way we have kept our property taxes so low is to rely on the revenue from the distribution of electricity throughout our town. 

       I realize that all of us, and each of these rates affect all of your elected officials just as much as they affect you, do not want to pay anymore for the utility services we enjoy, and some of us will have a hard time stretching already tight budgets any further, however it becomes important that the City provide for the continuation and improvement of our services to each of our residents.  We never like to increase costs to our citizens, but with no change in rates for four years it is critical that these changes be taken now and we have worked hard to be fair and keep the increases as reasonable as possible.  If you have concerns, I hope that you will take time to talk with your elected officials or plan to come to the September 8 City Commission meeting.  I would be glad to discuss the entire City Budgeting process and the many factors that were considered as we made decisions, and I hope that the improvements we plan to make in the coming years are well worth the extra expense that will be required to make Mason the best hometown now and in the future. 

Your friend and neighbor, Brent

       
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