PIEDMONT - The Town of Piedmont will hold a public hearing Wednesday for the proposed ordinance raising residents’ water rates.

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
PIEDMONT - The Town of Piedmont will hold a public hearing Wednesday for the proposed ordinance raising residents’ water rates.
The public hearing will be held in conjunction with the regular meeting of the mayor and council, who will conduct the second reading and possibly act upon the ordinance once the hearing is concluded.
According to mayor Paula Boggs, the increase will amount to approximately 51 percent on an average residential water usage of 2,000 gallons.
Letters were sent out to Piedmont water customers prior to Dec. 20 informing them of the proposed increase. Boggs said, however, the figures in the letter were not clear because they were based on a larger average.
The first reading of the ordinance was held Dec. 11, and resident John Amoroso appeared at that time to tell the mayor and council he feels that many people in the community would not be able to afford the increase.
In the meantime, Piedmont officials have been struggling with finding a new source of water for the town following the closing of Verso’s Luke Mill. Piedmont’s water supply is expected to be cut off in October 2020.
At the last council meeting, Terry Lively, executive director of the Region 8 Planning & Development Council, told the officials the town could “go broke” if the rates are not increased - no matter where the water comes from.
The law firm of Steptoe & Johnson is assisting Piedmont with the process of passing the ordinance.
The public hearing and regular meeting get underway at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 8 in the Town Hall.
Other items on the regular agenda include a citywide cleanup and an amendment to the agreement with Dunn Engineers.
The meeting is open to the public.