Mason city to hire compliance officer

By Mindy Kearns - Special to the Register

MASON — The Town of Mason will soon have its first compliance officer, after council members voted on the hiring at their most recent meeting.

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

Matt Gregg was hired as an independent contractor to serve in the compliance officer position on an “as needed” basis, according to the mayor. He will be paid $400 monthly.

The mayor said Gregg’s position will be a cross between serving as the town’s floodplain manager and as a city inspector. He will check on any ordinance violations and represent the town in municipal court when people are cited.

Also at the meeting, Phase II of a wastewater upgrade project was discussed. This phase will include the replacement of all sewer lines throughout the town.

Dennis said eight firms submitted bids to become the engineering firm for the project. The top four companies chosen from the proposals submitted will be interviewed before a decision is made.

Manhole replacements on the current wastewater project have been completed, the mayor stated. She added the wastewater treatment plant upgrades are nearly finished, as well.

Chuck and C.R. Blake attended the meeting to explain to the council why the Mason Volunteer Fire Department chose to pull away from the county commission.

Chuck Blake told council members he felt the lab employees hired by the commission to complete drug testing violated some of the firemen’s HIPAA privacy rights. He stated the fire department will still be dispatched through 911 and services will continue to be provided as usual.

C.R. Blake added that even though the department will lose money provided annually by the county commission, it has enough funds in the treasury to be self sufficient for the next 20 years, according to the mayor.

Plans are progressing on the building of a splash pad on property owned by the county near the Mason City Library.

The mayor said she met with County Commissioner Tracy Doolittle and Administrator John Gerlach about locating the pad behind the Virgil Lewis Reading Park on Brown Street. The town is now awaiting a contract from the commission.

A committee has been formed for the project, which includes the mayor and recorder, as well as Pam Thompson, Kira Northup, Darlene Roach, and Michelle Pearson. There is already $1,700 in seed money from a defunct bank account set up years ago for the town’s sesquicentennial celebration.

In other action, the council:

Agreed to purchase a Dell desktop computer for the mayor’s office at a cost of $599;

Heard a report from Police Chief Colton McKinney that a new chain of command will be added to the police standard operating procedures, as well as wording to specifically allow the use of batons and tasers;

Held the first reading of a camper ordinance that prohibits the use of campers as permanent housing, including in established trailer parks;

Announced a cornhole tournament at the park on Aug. 4, 5 p.m., with music and inflatables;

Set the annual Harvest Fest for Oct. 13;

Heard a report from the mayor on the Clifton water project that the council is awaiting highway permits, as well as working on rights-of-way;

Announced the sidewalk project has begun, with work currently in front of the Bob’s Market corporate office; and,

Discussed erecting a community building on Brown Street, to be paid with town funds unless grant money becomes available.

The next meeting will be Aug. 7 at 6:30 p.m.

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