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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            

   
Electric Crew on the job.

CITY COMMISSION REGULAR MEETING Monday February 13, 2016 @ 5:30

Richard P. Eckert Civic Center

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      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.

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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.

 

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 ~ CITY OF MASON PUBLIC INFORMATION~

ALL CITY OF MASON FACILITIES WILL BE CLOSED MONDAY FEBRUARY 20th

 IN OBSERVANCE OF PRESIDENTS DAY 

 City Corner

CITY CORNER by Mayor Brent Hinckley

 

      In this paper two weeks ago I wrote a lengthy article outlining the issues and possible projects that the City might consider to improve our water system.  That article went into some detail about the various concerns, and I would be glad to visit with anyone to clarify the issues or answer any questions, but I would like to provide one more piece of the picture now.  A good summary of the projects is that this involves possibly addressing five different major concerns with projects to correct all problems.  The first and major issue is to provide a treatment of the water supply to remove the radionuclide contamination, and this will be addressed as soon as possible and with a complete solution.  The other problems are of varying complexity and are being considered as longer range issues that need attention but might be delayed if needed.  They include some significant maintenance on the individual wells to provide consistent output of water, additional ground storage so that we have sufficient daily and emergency backup, completion of the 10” water main that we have been working on for several years, and improvements to equalize the water pressure throughout town.  Each of these five projects require considerable engineering and planning, and will individually add significant costs to the City’s infrastructure budget over the coming years.

     The City Commission has met several times in the past few months to address and discuss various aspects of this work on the City water system, and at this week’s regular City Commission meeting we considered the total costs and possible funding for these needs.  We are initially looking to request a loan from the Texas Water Development Board to cover all the projected needs and deal with the worst case possibilities.  However, a major portion of our consideration is the anticipation of receiving a significant loan forgiveness or grant through the Economically Distressed Areas Program that might reduce our repayment schedule by as much as 80%.  In working with the engineer who is coordinating the water system improvements,  we believe there is a good possibility of this significant reduction in the City’s portion of the costs, and therefore we are considering applying for as much as $8,500,000 to deal with all of the costs.  This seems like a great deal of money, but at this initial stage we feel that if the EDAP loan forgiveness is effective then to not apply for as much as is needed might be a big mistake. 

      The other side of this consideration is that we do not have to accept all of the funds that might be approved if the direct and indirect costs to the City are too great.  Over the next few months we will be working on some of the specific planning and testing that will tell us just what pieces of the overall picture need to be addressed.  We will also be formulating a long range plan to know just how and when we might be moving forward with individual projects, and prioritizing which are most needed.  As I said at the first, this overall view of improvements to the City’s water system encompasses five major projects, and we have found that with the limited staff and budgeting capabilities we have it is difficult to deal with more than one major project in a single year.  If you hear around town that we are applying for a huge sum of money for improvements, that is true, however if you think that we are planning to just start spending extravagantly on water projects, that is just not the case.  There is a great deal of testing, planning, needs assessment, engineering, prioritizing, design, budgeting, and contracting to do before we even begin to work on one project, much less all five.   

      My approach to the infrastructure improvements that are needed in Mason has always been conservative and in every case the funding and repayment of each project has been a major consideration.  In this current situation as well we will carefully look at all aspects of the needs and the possibilities for addressing those needs, and with a careful eye on the costs and how that might affect our citizens, we will carefully consider the best way to move forward.  I have always felt that all progress needs to be viewed from the standpoint of stewardship of the public funds and the long range commitments before any big decision is made.  This will certainly be the case during the next few months as we examine all that is involved in providing the best water system for the community of Mason, and we will keep you informed at each step along the way.  If you have any concerns or suggestions, please feel free to share them with me or any of our elected officials.   Mason is a great hometown, and looking to the future and working together we can continue to provide the basic services and meet the needs for coming generations. 



       
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