Smells Like SewageBy
In the furor over the fate of the city’s water system, one important aspect has escaped notice: in July, Henderson County is due to transfer an 137-acre property near Bent Creek to the city of Asheville.
With the deadline looming, there are no plans for a sewer plant on the site, meaning Asheville will get the property in July — unless the water system changes ownership again, such as through state legislation that would give Asheville’s water assets to either MSD or a regional water authority.
The latter options are exactly what the commission chaired by Rep. Tim Moffitt is studying, and his original proposal called for giving the system to MSD outright.
Henderson County has big problems with their neglected sewer needs, big problems that go back to Rep. McGrady’s time on the Henderson County Commission. They haven’t wanted to purchase service from MSD or a new treatment plant. One can imagine the sticker shock. One solution – combine water and sewer, take the Asheville water system, and have Buncombe ratepayers pay for your sewage needs. Ta Da. Additionally, Rep. Moffitt gets another opportunity to stick it to Asheville, the economic engine of the region.
As indicated by Rep. Moffitt’s original bill to simply seize the City of Asheville water system, the fix is in. The “study committee” will come back with a recommendation to do what Moffitt’s original bill suggested. There will be a few bones thrown to opponents, but the final product will be a regional authority that will create instability, increase costs, and have Buncombe ratepayers on the hook for Henderson County’s sewer needs.
The move is bad for business and bad for Buncombe. Here’s hoping that folks will tell their representatives and the members of the “Study Committee”, which meets today at 1:30pm in Raleigh (listen live here), that they want to maintain the quality water system we have now and they’d prefer not to pay for another county’s sewer service needs.
Susan.Fisher@ncleg.net; Patsy.Keever@ncleg.net; Tim.Moffitt@ncleg.net; Tom.Apodaca@ncleg.net; Martin.Nesbitt@ncleg.net; Bill.Brawley@ncleg.net; William.Brisson@ncleg.net; Tom.Murry@ncleg.net; Chuck.McGrady@ncleg.net