Piedmont City Council To Vote On Road Fee Hike

Monday, February 24th 2020, 6:35 am
By: Ashley Holden


Piedmont City Council will vote on an a fee increase that would generate over $2 million for road repairs, Monday night.
If approved, residents within city limits would pay an additional $28 on their utility bills. Before this fee was just $10.
Some people in Piedmont said they didn't have enough notice, but the Mayor disagrees.

Piedmont Mayor Kurt Mayabb has been serving in his position for just 10 months, but he said the road problems have been an issue for decades.

"The process of talking about our road conditions have been for 20 years," said Mayabb.
He said back in September the city put together a citizens committee to make suggestions and a list of roads that need fixed.
"We got that part together and put a road list together of 18 and a half or 19 miles," said Mayabb.
He said it will take millions of dollar to fix all of the roads.  
"At half a million dollars a mile you can do the math, $10 million, and you can't do that overnight," said Mayabb.
 He said city leaders did look at different options like using a road bond, but additional costs and fees discouraged city leaders from that option.
"A couple of people on the committee said why don't we look at putting it into the utility bill," said Mayabb.
A few weeks ago the council voted to direct the city manager and city attorney to put together a resolution to put the fee hike in place. That's when News 9 got messages from residents like Brittany Anderson.
"For us it's a third of what our bill already is, so it's definitely going to hit us hard," said Anderson. 
She and others said they didn't have enough notice, but the Mayor said he disagrees. 
"When you hit somebody with a fee that's when it hits in their heart," said Mayabb.
He said he wishes they would have been committed six months ago.
Mayor Mayabb admits this fee is a potential burden for some and that's why he's promising it will only be in place for two years.
"Listen I'm telling the citizens two years I'll still be here in two years and that fee will go away," said Mayabb. "We will find another way to do our roads." 
If approved, the plan is for the new fee to take effect March 1. 
The mayor thinks the resolution will be approved at the Feb. 24 city council meeting. Only one of the five city council members has told News 9 they are against the change. 
Still, Mayor Mayabb thinks the fee will be a hot topic, possibly drawing a crowd. 
The council meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the Piedmont Area Veterans Association. Officials said residents will get a chance to speak before any vote.