By a 4-2 vote, the Piedmont City Council Tuesday voted to implement a new utility policy.
Mayor Rick Freeman says the city has been running off of 1960’s rates as far as hooking up a house to water lines and the move catches the city up with other areas in the state.
The deposit is going up about 100-dollars for customers who rent their homes.
When the customer moves out, if they are in good standing, they will get that money back.
Freeman voted in favor of the policy along with council members Kenny Kelley, Bill Baker and Terry Kiser. Council members Brenda Spears and Mary Bramblett voted “No” while Ben Keller and Frank Cobb abstained.
Last month, the policy was tabled until the City Attorney could review it.
Concerns had been raised about the fairness of charging renters more of a deposit.
Attorney Ron Allen gave his opinion before Tuesday’s vote.
He says the city has a legitimate interest in different rates because tenants are where they are losing money as long as it’s not in violation of State or Federal Law regarding discrimination based on age, sex race, sex or similar factors.
In other action, the council voted to spend a little over 34-hundred dollars for an upgrade to the communication system for public safety.
This will put police, fire and rescue all on the same digital system.
The council also voted to give city employees this coming Friday, July the 5th the day off as part of the holiday.
Mayor Freeman brought the item up and councilwoman Spears expressed a concern.
The Council also voted to apply for a 450-thousand dollar Community Development Block Grant for a sewer rehabilitation project.
The local match will be just over 76-thousand dollars.
The city hopes to replace lines that have been giving them trouble along 8 to 10 blocks from Alabama Street to Highway 278 and 5th Avenue to Main Street.