PIEDMONT - During the Wednesday evening meeting of the Piedmont council meeting, mayor Ben Smith said he had received communication from Randy Gonzales, who works for the Census Bureau, and the ongoing investigation for the community to change out of the Cumberland Valley census area.

By Jean Braithwaite
Tribune Managing Editor
PIEDMONT - During the Wednesday evening meeting of the Piedmont council meeting, mayor Ben Smith said he had received communication from Randy Gonzales, who works for the Census Bureau, and the ongoing investigation for the community to change out of the Cumberland Valley census area.
Smith has for several years wanted Piedmont not to be in the same census area as the Cumberland area due to the difference in the two communities’ income base and population.
In the letter, Gonzales said the census information is used for a strategic plan to collect information on agencies, and “use the feedback for grant applications for regional development, education, agriculture, energy, and environmental programs, and other needed community enhancements.”
Smith said, “I did everything I could do for this,” mentioning sending a plan to Region 8 to try to get a change in the strategic planning.
“We still have a few months to possibly get an easement for our income for grant information,” Smith said.
He added, “Everyone knows we are not in the Cumberland Valley area.”
Smith also said besides Mineral County, the other counties of Hampshire and Pendleton would like to make census changes.
He said that he has been working with representative of the three counties to “make an unified effort instead of a single county trying to do something,” with census information.
Smith said that the outcome of his efforts is not looking either way, however, “Things are looking better.”
In other business, Paula Boggs gave a report on the town’s swimming pool, and said that volunteers have painted all the outside buildings and bathrooms, along with having all 10 lifeguards now certified.
She also said that a new concrete sidewalk has been installed along the front fence of the pool, along Orchard Street.
“The sidewalk replaces an area of high weeds,” Boggs said, now allowing the younger pool patrons to not to have cross any of the three nearby intersections to get to the pool.
She said that a wheelchair entrance in now located on the Orchard Street pool entrance, and the main gate will now be on the Potomac River side of the pool.
Boggs mentioned the sidewalk was installed from funding by a private citizen’s donation.
One of the last business items to be conducted by mayor Smith, who was at his final meeting as head of the Piedmont government due to him not seeking reelection, was to ask the council members to approve an extra day off for city employees.
He asked that the employees who have worked through their lunch time and built up their comp time could have Friday, July 5 off, along with the July 4 holiday.
He cited that another option was for employees who did not have enough comp time to take a vacation day on July 5.
The council members approved the motion to have the two-day holiday, and the Piedmont city office will also be closed those days.
The next Piedmont council meeting will be held Wednesday, July 10, at 6 p.m., and Paula Boggs will be seated as the newly elected mayor.