Piedmont Public Service District approves $1.4 million budget

By Stan Welch
The Piedmont Public Service Commission met Monday night to give third and final reading to the 2019-2020 budget. The new budget shows revenues of $1,553,716 and expenses of $1.553,140, with a surplus of $576. The budget is broken into three different sections: one for fire operations; one for  recreation; and one for light operations. Each of the three department’s budgets showed small surpluses. Fire operations showed a surplus of $115; recreation, $130; and lights $329.
The budget reflects a tax levy increase of 2.6 mills to 75.6 mills with 67.6 mills for the fire department, 6 mills for lights and 2 mills for recreation.
In comments following the vote, PPSD Commission Chair Ed Poore explained that the budget includes funding for the hiring of an additional firefighter for Station Two. Poore spoke about a proposed housing development that would involve almost 900 homes, if approved as presented to the appropriate agencies, also on Monday. The development is on the Greenville side of the river, but within the public service district. “We will have to provide coverage to this area, and adding a firefighter, frankly, is little enough.”
The Commission also accepted a bid of just under fifteen thousand dollars for an upgrade and expansion of the security system in the community building. Currently only a fire alarm system is in place, maintained by Priority One Security. The upgrade would include an alarm system and surveillance cameras, as well as an upgrade to the fire system. The new system would also replace a hard line phone reporting capability to a wifi system. Buildings and grounds committee chairman Rudy Rhodes recommended accepting the bid of Priority One, pointing out that upgrading their existing fire alarm system would be much cheaper than putting in a new one, if another contractor was chosen.
The vote was unanimous. The Commission, as it traditionally does, will not meet in July.