Mason utility customers to see increases

By Mindy Kearns - Special to OVP

MASON — Town of Mason utility customers will soon be seeing the first of four increases on their bills, it was told at the most recent council meeting.

Present were Mayor Donna Dennis, Recorder Harley Stewart, and council members Marty Yeager, Sharon Kearns, Steve Ohlinger, Sarah Stover, and Becky Pearson.

The announcement came following the third and final reading of ordinances that will raise water and sewer rates a total of 30 percent over an 18-month span.

The first increase will be reflected on the January 2021 bill, which customers will receive the first of February. It will be a water rate hike in the amount of seven-and-a-half percent. Three additional increases, all at seven-and-a-half percent each, will occur in June 2021 to the sewer rates; January 2022 to water rates; and June 2022 to sewer rates.

At the end of the increases a minimum bill, with a usage of 2,000 gallons per month, will go up nearly $8.00. A family using 4,000 gallons per month will see a hike of nearly $14.

Christmas activities were discussed at the meeting, and it was announced they would take place on Dec. 5.

The parade will start at noon, with line-up at 11:30 a.m. in the Faith Baptist Church parking lot. It will travel to the fire station. Dennis said the Wahama Band will be participating, as well as several churches. Following the parade, Santa will be at the town hall to greet the children.

The mayor added she has been approached by Jill Nelson of the Next Level Band, who would like to hold a “Hometown Christmas” after the parade in the Mason park. Plans include crafters, a live nativity, music and more. The Christmas trees will also be set up in the park for the third year. More details will be announced at a later date.

Dennis reported the town is working to upgrade the outlets, located on the power poles, that provide energy for the town Christmas decorations. She said $2,700 in parts have been ordered for the upgrade, but have not yet arrived. Once they do, Supervisor Aaron Woolard will meet with AEP officials, prior to town laborers completing the work.

In other action, the council:

Heard a request from Clifton resident Ernie Compson, who would like the town to take Clifton into the corporation and upgrade water lines there;

Agreed to allow Rio Bravo restaurant to tap into the town sewer line at the restaurant’s expense;

Heard a complaint from resident Stella O’Bryan regarding barking dogs;

Heard from Yeager that repairs to the police cruiser that hit a deer were $1,000 more than expected, totaling $2,800;

Agreed to extend sealed bids for an older police vehicle to Nov. 18, after no bids were received;

Heard from Police Chief Colton McKinney that the new cruiser will arrive Nov. 16, after which quotes will be gathered for the light bar and other necessary equipment;

Agreed to vacate out-of-town Coal Street and a Fourth Street extension to allow the location of new greenhouses by Bob’s Market;

Heard from Stover that she had completed the municipal court clerk and judge training, which was done virtually this year;

Received a thank-you note from the seniors who eat lunch outside the senior center for the plastic around the shelter, allowing them to continue to meet while the center is closed due to COVID; and,

Heard a report that town police officers all qualified on firearms as conducted by Instructor Tyler Doss, at no cost to the town.

The next meeting will be held Nov. 19 at 6:30 p.m.

By Mindy Kearns

Special to OVP

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