Piedmont reverses power policy before it begins
by Laura Gaddy
Oct 01, 2013 | 2997 views |  0 comments | 75 75 recommendations | email to a friend | print
PIEDMONT — The Piedmont City Council on Tuesday reversed a measure that would have moved up a penalty date for nonpayment of power bills.

In early July, the council approved a new policy that would have moved that date from the 15th to the 10th of each month, starting in October. However, soon after the decision, several residents came to the council with concerns that the policy would hurt residents struggling to pay their bills.

The council suspended the policy during a meeting last month, and on Tuesday, voted against the change.

“I don’t want to cause a hardship on anyone,” said Mayor Pro Tem Bill Baker, shortly before the council cast its vote.

The city of Piedmont purchases power in bulk, processes it at city-owned stations and resells it to residents.

City leaders had hoped moving the penalty date up by five days would reduce the number of outstanding power bills; earlier this year, there were about 230 customers who had not paid the city-operated utility what they owed, officials said.

That number has now been cut to 90, said Casey Ponder, who oversees the electrical department. Officials said the drop has been due to stricter enforcement of the rules designed to encourage adherence to the late-fee date, such as charging late fees and cutting off power to delinquent customers.

Staff Writer Laura Gaddy: 256-235-3544. On Twitter @LJohnson_Star.

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