PIEDMONT - With no quorum on Jan. 8 to vote on the water rate increase, the Piedmont City Council held a special meeting Tuesday and unanimously passed the ordinance.

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
PIEDMONT - With no quorum on Jan. 8 to vote on the water rate increase, the Piedmont City Council held a special meeting Tuesday and unanimously passed the ordinance.
The ordinance raises the rate for water consumption approximately 51 percent on an average residential water usage of 2,000 gallons.
It also sets minimum charges for water usage based upon the size of the customer’s water meter. A 5/8 inch meter, for example, will be charged a minimum of $42; three-fourths inch meter, $63; a one-inch water meter, $105, and on up.
The required first reading of the ordinance was held Dec. 11, and despite not having a quorum to vote the town proceeded with the public hearing scheduled for Jan. 8.
At that time, Todd Swanson of Stepto & Johnson was present to answer questions, as well as Terry Lively of the Region 8 Planning and Development Council.
During the special meeting Tuesday, mayor Paula Boggs read the ordinance in its entirety and the council voted to pass it.
The rate increase will become effective in 45 days.
Although some residents have voiced their opinion that the increase was too high and many could not afford it, Lively  told the officials the town could “go broke” if the rates were not increased.
The town also faces the task of locating a new water source this year, when the water they are currently receiving from Verso’s Luke Mill becomes unavailable.