Mason mulls over solutions for water leak

By Mindy Kearns - Special to the Register

MASON An alleged uncooperative landowner in Clifton, who has a water leak, led Mason town council members to mull possible solutions at their most recent meeting.

Mayor Donna Dennis explained to the council that there is a water leak in Clifton, but to have the leak fixed, workers must go on a homeowner’s property. That homeowner, the mayor said, has refused to allow workers onto her property unless the town promises her a French drain for the standing water in her backyard, which is not caused by the town.

To further complicate matters, the town recently found out several illegal water lines were installed in that area years ago, that initiate from the property of the same landowner. It was emphasized, however, that this person did not own the property at the time the illegal lines were installed.

The council already has a plan in place to complete a water project in the area that would run a new main line to the residents and not pass through the yard of that particular person. Funds for the Clifton project will come from leftover monies from the recent water upgrade project in town.

The mayor had copies of correspondence with the resident, as well as copies of posts the resident has made on social media. The town attorney and the town’s easement attorney are currently working to take eminent domain action to gain access allowing the leak to be repaired.

In the meantime, the town is losing money through the water loss the leak is causing. Town supervisor Aaron Woolard was directed at the meeting to meet with a local excavator to see if any legal solutions can be found to bypass the area and stop the leak until the project can be completed.

Christmas activities were also announced during the meeting, including a parade, tree lighting ceremony, and decorating contest.

The parade will be held Dec. 2 at noon, beginning at the Faith Baptist Church parking lot and continuing to the town hall. There, Santa will pass out treats to the children, and refreshments will be served.

Later that evening, the tree lighting ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. Although council members last year discussed moving the tree and ceremony to the Virgil Lewis Reading Park near the library, it was decided to keep it at town hall. Popcorn and hot chocolate will be served.

A house decorating contest will also be held for Christmas. The contest is open for residents living within the municipal boundaries. Prizes will be $100 for first place, $75 for second, and $50 for third. Judging date and more details will be forthcoming.

In other action, the council:

Heard a complaint from Donna Vickers regarding standing water in front of her house on Second Street;

Changed a town sponsored cornhole tournament from November to the springtime;

Agreed to allow the mayor to sign a proclamation declaring Christian Heritage Week;

Held the second reading of the bond ordinance for the sewer upgrade project; and,

Heard a report from Police Chief Rich Gilkey that the department received a $1,500 Highway Safety grant to hold a “Click It or Ticket” event from Nov. 3 through 19.

Attending were Mayor Dennis, Recorder Christy McDonald, and council members Becky Pearson, Emily Henry, Marty Yeager, Sharon Kearns, and Ricky Kearns, Jr.

The next meeting will be Nov. 16 at noon.

By Mindy Kearns

Special to the Register

Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at

Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at