2402 June 12 -

Piedmont Citizens group petitions for incorporation

Members of the Piedmont citizens group that forms the nucleus of the Piedmont incorporation committee chose Norma Hedstrom, a local businesswoman, to chair the group.

First item on the agenda for the committee is to draft and circulate a petition necessary to put the incorporation question on the November general election ballot.

Approximately 450-500 registered voters will have to provide signatures on petitions for the question to be on the ballot.

If enough signatures are collected, registered voters of the Piedmont Public Service District will decide if they want Piedmont incorporated as a city.

Committee members voted two to one last month in favor of taking the steps necessary to place incorporation on the ballot.

After selecting Hedstrom to chair the effort, other members volunteered to help circulate the petition. Jed Daughtry was selected to manage the public relations effort.

Hedstrom urged the committee to get all Piedmont District voters to sign the petition.

“One of the reasons to incorporate Piedmont is to give our people a voice,” she said. “We want all of Piedmont to have a chance to speak decisively on incorporation.”

Committee members will use a variety of means, including a web site, to circulate the petitions.

Though most of the group’s discussion was on the petition, there  were ideas presented on how to handle the controversial issue of taxes and mis-information.

One committee member said, “My property taxes doubled last year and we weren’t incorporated then. Taxes just go up like any other prices.”

Another noted that funds from state and federal governments will be available to a municipality that are not available to a public service district.

“We want people to know the pros and cons and to think about what they are deciding, based on actual facts,” Hedstrom said. “We want them to know what they are signing.”

Hedstrom said the committee wants to urge voters in Piedmont to sign the petition, get the question on the ballot, and then “to vote their heart and desire.”

Piedmont Public Service District of Greenville and Anderson Counties currently provides fire protection to all of the district and sewer and light services to a smaller portion of the district. Recreation services are also provided through the District.

If incorporated, Piedmont will become a city of about 15 square miles and about 5200 residents.




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