Tuesday, September 30, 2014 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            

   
Weather Report - Conditions for Mason, TX at 6:13 pm CDT
Currently 88°F
High 89°F
Low 67°F

Partly Cloudy
2 Day Forecast
Tue Clear
High: 89°F Low: 67°F
Wed Sunny
High: 94°F Low: 72°F
Thu Mostly Sunny
High: 95°F Low: 61°F
Fri Sunny
High: 86°F Low: 56°F
Sat Sunny
High: 85°F Low: 58°F

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2012 Mason Roundup Parade Float

USED TIRE CLEANUP at RECYCLE CENTER

Sept 29th - Oct 3rd 8am - 5pm

Oct 4th 8am - noon

$2.00 per tire

$5.00 per truck & tractor tire

Watering Restrictions

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

CITY COMMISSIONER'S MEETING



October 20th at 5:30PM



Richard P. Eckert Civic Center


FREE DUMP DAYS AT CITY LANDFILL  

Oct. 2nd & 3rd ~ 8am - 5pm

Oct. 4th ~ 8am - NOON.

 City Corner

CITY CORNER by Mayor Brent Hinckley

 

     One of the more difficult tasks that we have to complete every year is to set the annual budget and provide the revenues from taxes and utility rates that will fund the expected expenses.  The City, just like the County, starts this process in late spring every year and by state law we have to finish up and vote to approve budget and tax rates during September for the coming fiscal year.   Here at the City we had finished our final draft by early August and filed a copy with the City Secretary to be provided to any citizens who had an interest and wanted to have a copy, and then when the City Commission met on September 8 we could take action and approve the finances for the coming year. 

     The Budget that we approved provides for 6.7 million dollars of revenues and expenses with a balanced total, and there are only a few additions to the expenses from the past year.  We are allowing some moderate raises for our City employees who have been doing an excellent job of serving our community, we are planning some extra for the initial planning and permitting needed for expanding the landfill, and we are expecting  to purchase some heavy equipment including a new trash truck and a front end loader to replace ones that have seen many years of service.  To raise the revenues to pay for these few changes, we are anticipating borrowing to purchase the equipment we need since the interest rates are still so favorable, and the expected higher operating expenses we have budgeted to cover with some changes in utility rates and a small increase in the property tax rate.

      The City portion of the property tax rate will go up to 16.375 cents per $100 valuation, which is some increase from previous years but is still relatively low.  Most other towns in this area have a tax rate three to four times as high, and the City portion of the local property tax bill is only 3.5% of the total.  What this means is that very little of your total property tax payment comes to the City, and the increase will be pretty minimal from our actions.  In fact the City is budgeting to receive only $201,500 from Property Taxes, and yet we plan on sales taxes of over $256,000!  Of course the County and School District still have to set their property tax rates for this year so there may be other changes ahead, but the City portion is not a significant piece of the tax rate totals. 

     The City also took action to raise some of the utility rates to meet the additional expenses of the regular operations.  Most of these utility rates had not been increased in the past four years, and we set the changes to take effect on November 1 so you will not see any change in your bills regarding these increases until your December bills arrive.  We approved increases in the water rates for heavier usage, but not on the base rate nor as much on smaller usage, so if you conserve water and do not use more than a regular household you should not see much change.  We also increased garbage collection fees by $3.00 per month for residential and commercial customers, and an equal percentage for dumpster users, and this is planned to bring the solid waste department into a balanced budget for revenues and expenses for the first time in many years.  We also raised the power distribution portion of the calculation of the electric bills as well as a $2.00 increase in the base charge for electricity.  The increase from this change in the electric revenues is spread over several areas of the City services that do not raise appreciable revenues but still have increasing expenses such as animal control, streets, park maintenance, recycling and the summer swimming pool operations.  All of these are areas our residents want and need and the cost of these services has to be provided or else the quality of service will have to be lowered. 

     I have written about these changes a few times over the past couple of months as we were making our projections, but I wanted to be sure that now that decisions have been made everyone is aware of what to expect.  No one likes to hear that prices are increasing, although we seem to find that everywhere we go these days.  However, these changes in the City rates and taxes will not take effect immediately, but over the coming several months and I hope that they will not be as hurtful as some of the other increases in the regular cost of living that we see all around.  I figured my personal September utility bills which cover a couple of businesses and my residence, and with all of the changes my bill would have only increased 3.4% in total if all of the increases are factored in.  If you are an older resident and have real concerns about the increases affect your personal finances, please come by the City office and see if you are eligible for our $20.00 coupon credit we provide on utility bills.  If you have issues or suggestions about the City budget and the utility rates or tax rates, please come by and see me or the City Administrator and we will be glad to talk with you about them and provide much more information and explanation.  We much prefer to have straight forward discussion and provide direct answers than to deal with vague conjecture and general dissatisfaction from our residents.   We have spent months working out the details and worrying over the impacts of increases and changes, but we feel sure that everything we have done is reasonable and intended to be for the ultimate benefit of our residents and our community.  Working together we can keep improving our town and know that we are making Mason the very best hometown in Texas.

Your friend and neighbor,   Brent

 


       
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