Piedmont approves budget, funds insurance benefits

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By Stan Welch

The Piedmont Public Service District Board of Commissioners gave final approval to the 2013-2014 budget Monday night.

The budget, as approved unanimously, will bring the complement of full time firefighters to fifteen, and will, for the first time in three years, provide a cost of living increase of three per cent. The budget remains balanced, due to an amended formula for receiving revenues from Greenville County; there will be no millage increase.

In fact, as the upgraded sewer system comes on line and is taken over by the Metropolitan Sewer SubDistrict, sewer customers will see an actual reduction of the millage they pay. The average reduction is estimated at eighty seven dollars per customer.

The Commission also voted to fund the $17,120 needed to meet their obligation for future health insurance benefits for retired employees. Known as OPEB, the program addresses the question of optional post employment benefits and acknowledges the fact that such benefits continue past retirement and must therefore be planned and prepared for.

The options are to fund the entire amount, to partially fund the amount, or to designate it as a contingent liability. After agreeing that the funds are available in the current budget, the Commission voted to fund the contribution in full.

In other business, the fire department answered a total of forty four calls, including three structure fires, three grass fires and 4 vehicle calls. Nineteen medical calls were answered.

The baseball fields generated 130 dollars in revenue while the rental of the community building brought in two hundred fifteen dollars for the month.

The Commission also learned that at the recent convention of the SC Fire Chiefs Association, Chief Tracy Wallace was sworn in as the group’s president.