Members of the Piedmont citizens group hoping to see the Piedmont incorporation question on the November general election ballot are already facing opposition.

Another Piedmont citizens group is organizing to stop the movement before it gets to the ballot.

Bumper stickers against incorporation are already appearing on vehicles in the area.

At the last publicly announced incorporation meeting held June 10, citizens who had attended previous meetings voted on a chairperson to head the incorporation push.

A number of Piedmont area residents who showed up for that meeting were told that they were not allowed to vote on the issue because it was past that stage of discussion. They were also not allowed to vote on the chair position because they had not attended earlier meetings.

Growing opposition to the incorporation of Piedmont was also apparent at the June 17 meeting of the Piedmont Public Service District Board of Commissioners.

Though the incorporation issue was not brought up during the Commissioners meeting, it was the topic of discussion after the meeting.

Residents against the incorporation stated that they are in the process of organizing statements and will go public with their opposition soon.

Opponents say the possibility of additional taxes in the form of franchise fees from utilities, no specifics on the services to be offered by the proposed city, costs associated with additional services and the boundaries are issues with them.

Supporters have said that additional county, state and federal funds will be available to the municipality and a greater say in issues affecting the area are reasons to incorporate.

The incorporation committee is working to 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 the petitions for the question to be on the ballot.

If enough signatures are collected, registered voters of the Piedmont Public Service District can then decide if they want Piedmont incorporated as a city or not.

Currently the proposal is to incorporate the entire Piedmont Public Service District of Anderson and Greenville counties, which includes  Greenville District 90, Greenville District 91, Greenville District 105 and Anderson District 123.

All four districts currently pay taxes based on .055 mills for fire protection and .002 mills for recreation. Greenville District 90 and Anderson District 123 pay .024 mills for sewer and light services.

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



During their regular monthly meeting June 18, the Piedmont Public Service District Board of Commissioners discussed an upcoming dedication at the Piedmont ball park

Chair Marsha Rogers said the new Piedmont ballpark, now known as the Tom C. Pack Park, is being used regularly. Several church league and other ball games have been held at the facility, she said.

A dedication ceremony for new playground equipment recently placed at the park by the Bonnes Amies Club will be held on Sunday, June 30 at 3 p.m., according to Rogers.

She said other improvements needed at the park include benches for ballplayers, a partial fence for a dugout, painting the old concession stand to match the new one and possibly adding a horse shoe pit.

Rogers also mentioned the possibility of expanding the park.

Fire Chief and Administrator Butch Nichols said the new fire trucks on order for the District should be ready in late August.

Acting on a motion made by Commissioner Al McAbee, with a second by C. E. “Ed” Poore Jr., commissioners unanimously approved third reading on the 2002-2003 budget which becomes effective July 1.

There were no changes since the second reading of the budget held, officials said.

The budget does show that the Fire Chief and Administrator will receive 35 vacation days and a salary of $46,390. The budget also refects a 3.3 percent cost of living salary increase for all District employees. (See budget story this issue)

Commissioners also discussed traffic problems associated with cars blocking roadways at Sue Cleveland School.

Piedmont officials are attempting to correct the problem before school resumes.

Commissioners will not meet in July. The next regular meeting will be held on Mon., August 19 at 7 p.m.




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