One council member’s plan to pave Piedmont’s aging streets failed to pass during Tuesday’s meeting of the Piedmont City Council.
Council Member Frank Cobb presented a plan that, according to him, would have paved approximately 15 miles of city streets using a proposed 2 cent per gallon tax increase on gas, raising the total gas tax to 3 cents per gallon. Cobb said the tax would generate about $80,000 per year in additional revenue, which would be used to cover a bond issue between $1 million and $1.5 million, making the project possible.
Cobb, however, faced opposition to his plan. Council Member Ben Keller said that the 2 cent increase would be too much of a burden for Piedmont residents, asking why was a 1 cent increase not being considered instead. Cobb replied that because gas prices are set by the gas companies, “There’s not a person in this town who would notice that tax.”
Mayor Bill Baker expressed concerns over the city taking on another long-term debt. Cobb noted that the city would only take out a bond that could be totally covered by the revenue from the 2 cent tax increase.
The measure failed with a 4 to 3 vote.
In other business, the council voted to add a kilowatts per hour line to the citizen’s monthly electric bills starting January 1st. The addition will cost the city a one-time setup fee of $1,500.
Also, the council agreed to purchase switches for Substation #3 at a cost of $6,800.
Bills for payment were approved in the amount of $256,808.90 in addition to a payroll amount of $110,116.57 for a total of $366,925.47 with Council Member Kenny Kelley abstaining, and Council Member Brenda Spears voting “No.” Additionally, as of October 31st, there was a total of $1,305,954.22 remaining in bond accounts.
The next regular Piedmont City Council meeting is scheduled for Thursday, December 3rd, at 6 pm