By Liz Beavers
Tribune Managing Editor
PIEDMONT - The Town of Piedmont will be holding a public meeting at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday to discuss the upcoming water project.
Town officials have been working on the issue of how to continue to supply water for their citizens since Verso announced it would no longer be pumping water to Piedmont through it’s mill, which has been shuttered since May 31, 2019.
The water, which actually comes from the North Branch of the Potomac above the Luke mill, is pumped across the mill property by Verso, and comes across the wooden bridge that links the mill property with Piedmont.
It is treated in Piedmont’s water plant.
Among the scenarios the Piedmont officials have been discussing is hooking up to Westernport’s water system.
Realizing that whichever decision is made will be costly, and that the town’s 120-year-old lines need replaced, the Piedmont City Council approved a rate increase of 56.75% on Jan. 14. That increase was protested by a group of citizens who filed a petition with the West Virginia Public Service Commission on Feb. 7.
Three days later, the PSC suspended the date the rate hike was originally to go into effect, and on March 17, at the conclusion of a hearing held in the Piedmont American Legion. Administrative Law Judge Keith George of the PSC ruled that the complaint was valid.
A hearing on the issue is scheduled for July 23.
In the meantime, Piedmont officials continue to work on how they will get water to the town, and water commissioner Greg Harvey will be making a Powerpoint presentation at Wednesday’s meeting in the upstairs of the Piedmont Legion.
Anyone wishing to ask questions about the project may do so at that time.
The Powerpoint is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. and the regular council meeting will follow at approximately 6 p.m.