The Piedmont City Council, on Tuesday, rejected an offer from Spire Energy to purchase the city’s gas system for $4.2 million.
The decision comes after almost a year of discussion with the company.
There was some interest to sell from at least one council member, as Councilman Matt Rogers argued that the system isn’t currently profitable and will actually lose about $3 million in the next few years.
City gas department officials, however, responded by saying that while the system hasn’t seen much profit recently, due to required upgrades, such as replacing miles of underground cast iron pipe, it has historically been the most profitable utility the city operates.
Reynolds Anderson, director of business development at Spire, gave his final pitch to city officials, citing their company’s focus on safety, lowing consumer rates, and helping to alleviate city debt.
“This is an opportunity for the city to get the gas system debt-free,” Anderson said, adding that “with our offer on the table, it will get the city close.”
Rogers made a motion to accept Spires $4.2 million offer in addition to a 3-percent franchise fee. After failing to receive a “second,” however, the motion died on the vine.
“We will continue to be Piedmont Gas,” Mayor Bill Baker said, following the discussion.
Spire Energy is a St. Louis based public utility holding company, which acquired the Alabama Gas Corporation (Alagaso) in 2014.
In other business, bills for payment were approved in the amount of $427,330.50.
$15,000 was transferred from a billboard fund to be used to upgrade the downtown gazebo, including the installation of new lighting.
Mayor Baker announced a city-wide American flag retirement ceremony on Saturday, September 28th, beginning at 6:30pm at Veterans Park.
Baker also read a proclamation, which recognized 2nd Chance for its work in helping domestic violence victims and declared October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month throughout the City of Piedmont.
The next regular Piedmont City Council Meeting is scheduled for September 17th, immediately following the work session, which is set for 5:30pm.