PIEDMONT - After several years of facing issues with an ailing sewerage system and having to have the sewerage plant vacuumed out on an often-daily basis at a budget-draining expense, things are ready to change for the Town of Piedmont.

By Jean Braithwaite
Tribune Correspondent
PIEDMONT - After several years of facing issues with an ailing sewerage system and having to have the sewerage plant vacuumed out on an often-daily basis at a budget-draining expense, things are ready to change for the Town of Piedmont.
Steve Buchannan, of Thrasher Engineering, told the city officials at the Wednesday evening council meeting that the three-phase electric to the plant site will be turned on next Monday, Feb. 19.
He said, “On Tuesday, Feb. 20, the Muffin Monster will be started to see how it runs.”
This piece of equipment is designed to chew up items coming through the sewerage system to prevent clogging of the pipes.
Buchannan also said that representatives from the factory that builds the Muffin Monster will be present to offer training on the machine.
Mayor Ben Smith asked Ernie Crouse, a new city employee, to have “everyone that will be involved at the plant to be present for the training.”
Crouse began working for Piedmont about a month ago and he is the town foreman/ water plant operator.
He has 30 years’ experience, having been employed at the Green Springs Water Plant, in Hampshire County, on two separate times, and at the Keyser Water Plant.
Crouse told the council members, “I will do a good job for you and get things back on track.”
In other business, the subject of the city lot located next to the city building was discussed.
Piedmont recently had an offer of $2,500 from West Virginia University to purchase that lot to be used for a parking area for patrons of the newly-built health clinic.
At a recent meeting, the council members agreed to seek advice on how to handle the sale, particularly if a bid process would have to be completed to sell the property.
Vickie Smith, finance commissioner, said the city’s costs of the advertisements for bids in two separate newspapers “would be from $1,400 to $1,600.”
Mayor Smith stated that he contacted the West Virginia Municipal League, and received information that, “We could have an auction” for the lot.
Council members voted to table the discussion until the next council meeting, and mayor Smith said, “When we sell the lot, we need to sell it right.”
Smith announced the community meeting involving local businesses and interested citizens through the direction of the Chamber of Commerce and John Lecky, president of that agency, will be held Thursday, Feb. 22, at 6 p.m. at the Piedmont American Legion