CITY OF MASON BEGINS CRITICAL WATER CONSERVATION PLAN
The public water system of the City of Mason has reached a Critical, Level 2 condition recently, and the City Administrator John Palacio has implemented additional water conservation measures. While we do not fear immediate water shortages, we feel it is necessary to move beyond voluntary measures to protect the water levels for everyone. As the hot summer winds continue to blow and the dry conditions only worsen, the City of Mason will now begin enforcing mandatory water conservation measures throughout the community. Rather than immediately banning the use of water for outdoor sprinkling, we will limit each water customer to watering only twice a week and only between the hours of 7:00 pm and 10:00 am, or hand watering at other times. We ask for everyone to water on its set days and continue our water conservations Plans:
- · All even numbered houses can water twice a week either on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday between the hours of 7:00 pm and 10:00 am.
- · All odd numbered houses can water twice a week either on Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday between the hours of 7:00 pm and 10:00 am.
- · You will be allowed to hand water if you so need to.
We will be monitoring outdoor watering from private wells within the City as well as from the public water system since all of the water comes from the Hickory Aquifer and the negative impacts from depleting that water source will affect everyone in this community.
We hope that everyone will cooperate and limit all non-essential water use. We will begin immediately to monitor water use and will issue warnings and turn off unnecessary water uses as well as water sprinklers running during the heat of the day. Beginning August 31st, we will shift from monitoring and warnings to issuing citations and fines for watering other than between 7:00 pm and 10:00 am and for other non-essential water use or waste. If there is no significant rain in the next couple of months we may have to move to a Level 3 Water Rationing stage, but we believe that with your help and cooperation we may not need to move to that restrictive stage. Your grass and plantings may suffer a little, but we are most concerned to protect the water supply for the critical daily needs of our residents, not just the wants of a few. As we try to protect the health and safety of our town, we hope that you will help and that we will soon be blessed with rain that might limit this current drought.
City of Mason
Rate and Fee Changes
For Garbage Collection & Landfill Rates
Effective November 1, 2020
- Residential, one pick up per week $ 22.00 $ 24.00
- Commercial, curbside collection per week $ 26.00 $ 28.00
- 3 Yard Dumpster
One pick up per week $ 85.00 $ 94.00
Two pick ups per week $ 145.00 $ 160.00
Three pick ups per week $ 200.00 $ 220.00
Four pick ups per week $ 260.00 $ 285.00
Five pick ups per week $ 310.00 $ 340.00
- General rate for City residents $0.06/lb ($10.00 min)
- General rate for County residents $0.08/lb ($15.00 min)
F. Brush, limbs, yard debris, tree removal $0.02/lb ($5.00 min)
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
From the Office of CITY OF MASON – JOHN PALACIO
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) have been closely working together with numerous state health agencies to provide the public with educational materials on how to stay safe with regard to COVID-19.
At this time, there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, however, there are precautionary measure that will help to minimize or even avoid the contraction of the coronavirus:
· Frequently wash hands with soap for a duration of at least 20 seconds;
· Cover mouth with a clean tissue or inside of elbow when coughing or sneezing;
· Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
· Stay home if flu-like symptoms are present, as well as, drink plenty of fluids;
· Visit local clinic as necessary.
For more information about the prevention and treatment programs, please visit the Center of Disease Control website – www.cdc.gov – or the Texas Department of State Health Services website – www.dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus .
It is critical that we AVOID panic! Please continue to check this website for local updates, should there be a need for Mason County and City of Mason to take further action.
CITY CORNER by Mayor Brent Hinckley
The City staff is busy working to keep up with the several projects and deadlines that are underway. The new landfill is nearing completion with the new scale house being built out, the signage and fencing contracted out and a few more specific chores to complete with the intent of calling for a final inspection in a few weeks. It is planned that the old landfill will continue to be used for some particular garbage, such as construction debris, for a period, but the new landfill will be used for the regular trash and should be useful for the next three or four decades before another cell will need to be built on this same permitted area. Much as we have done for other portions of the City utilities, the planning and construction of our infrastructure has been done on a scale that will meet the needs of our community for many years to come, whether it is the water system, the sewer treatment plant, the electric distribution of even the park and recreation facilities. There has been long range planning going on for the past several years and we are confident that the infrastructure we have worked on will be sufficient to meet the needs of Mason for the reasonable future.
This week also is the end of our fiscal year on October 31, so the office staff is working diligently to finish off the bookkeeping and posting of all the last minute payments so that we can finish up the year in a clear and complete manner. Another challenge has been the new limitations for the Recycling facility of Mason. For the past couple of years the uses and market for used plastics, glass and other recyclables has been very limited and many recycling programs, even in much larger towns have had to close. After working to build that program in Mason for many years, it is disheartening to have to cut back our program, but there is just no way to justify continuing to collect materials for which there is absolutely no market. We recently shipped a truck load of cardboard which is one of the few things that we can get payment for, but the contracted amount for that shipment will likely pay little more than the transportation costs, which we have to absorb. The City spends $140,000 a year to collect and process the recycling that you bring to the center, and with revenues of less than 10% of that, it has finally come down to a decision to reduce the negative cash flow on this one area of our City budget and reassign some of the employees to departments where they are truly needed.
As I am writing this it is also just a week until the Election Day, and I suspect that most all of us are weary of the campaigning and constant bombardment of social media, news and politics. We need to take a big calming breath, let the election process play out as our forefathers envisioned, and begin to look forward to the future and how we can positively and productively continue to create a better world for our children. I hope that you take the time to vote and let your decision be a part of the greater process, and then we need to support those men and women who garner the votes to be elected, and commit ourselves and our voices to working out the differences and move forward. Locally, I sincerely believe that all of the announced City candidates are well qualified, capable and eager to serve our community, and I look forward to a bright and positive future. I have tried to direct our thinking here for many years to the understanding that we are a community of friends, neighbors and family, and as such we need to work and plan together so that we can live and work in a blessed place. Whatever the national politics might be, here in Mason we need to look beyond our differences and continue to be the kind of community that is truly a hometown, and as I have said many times the very best hometown in Texas.
With Election Day just around the corner, this is also the last City Corner I will be writing as your Mayor. After fifteen and a half years of doing the best job I could manage serving this wonderful town, I am ready to let the newly elected public officials take over the reins of leadership and build on the foundation we have prepared. I step aside knowing that the City staff and employees are the very best I have ever known here or anywhere, knowing that the planning and improvement projects have prepared our town for meeting the needs of the future, and knowing that our residents are the very best and caring people that any community could hope to have. As I have told many people, I am retiring from being in the City office daily, from writing this weekly column after more than 650 issues, from conducting City meetings after at least 250 times, and from the challenges of meeting the specific municipal needs of our many residents. However, when I step down from this job I will still live right here on the Square, I will still actively run my businesses, I will still be active in several non-profits locally and in my church, and I will still be your neighbor. I hope you will join me in working to keep and improve our community so that this is a place we can all enjoy and be proud of. Mason is truly a great hometown, and I hope we can all continue to work together to keep it a little piece of paradise here in central Texas.