Many more millions of gallons of sewage might have flowed into the French Broad River on April 30, but the Metropolitan Sewerage District’s “code red” team — staffers Mark Ferris, Mike Ball, Bob Triplett, Grady Brooks — had not voluntarily plunged into the pool of raw sewage surrounding the pumps to find the missing closure plate and shut off the culprit valve. (Photos by Max Cooper)
A notice of violation has been issued to the Metropolitan Sewerage District of Buncombe County by the N.C. Division of Water Quality, pertaining to the April 30 spill of raw sewerage into the French Broad River. The overflow of almost 6 million gallons was the result of a pump accident during a construction operation at the plant, resulting in the shutdown of its main pumps.
The North Carolina General Assembly has begun its end-of-session wrestling to reconcile Gov. Pat McCrory’s $20.6 billion budget for fiscal year 2013-2014 and the Senate’s own $20.58 plan and priorities. Meanwhile, some of the nearly 600 bills still alive after crossover are filtering through Statehouse committees.
Passing a new budget resolution and agreeing to hire additional legal counsel were the two top items at the May 15 meeting of the board of the Metropolitan Sewerage District of Buncombe County. The preliminary budget for the public agency, totaling roughly $40 million, includes a 2.5 percent rate increase for domestic users, a $16.7 […]
Passing a new budget resolution and agreeing to hire additional legal counsel were the two top items at Wednesday’s meeting of the board of the Metropolitan Sewerage District of Buncombe County. The $40-million budget reflects a $16.7 million capital improvement investment and a 2.5 percent rate increase for domestic users.
Rich Ducker calls Senate Bill 612 “a real Christmas tree of a bill – all sorts of things hung on it.” But the biggest issue, says the public law and government specialist, may be a “sleeper issue to some people.” And that’s language that could prevent local environmental ordinances that are any more stringent than state law—something that would likely do away with Buncombe County’s steep-slope ordinance and other regionally specific rules.
The mayor of Hendersonville, just 29 miles down Interstate 26 from any-way-you-like-it Asheville, describes her city as a “sophisticated small town,” enjoying itself and its more leisurely pace while sharing a lot of the same regional amenities. And right now Barbara Volk is keenly aware that her town, population 13,277, is also sharing some of […]
They had to keep rolling out chairs April 23 for what was billed as a “Conversation about Public Education in North Carolina,” held at the Asheville City Schools board room on Mountain Street. A larger-than-anticipated audience of 60 people — educators, elected officials, parents, advocates — came to talk about the status of public education, and to offer some opinions.
With two weeks left before the North Carolina General Assembly’s May 16 crossover deadline, Asheville-specific legislation remains in focus among the more than 1,700 bills and resolutions entered in the 2013 session. And everything must now compete for time with the nearly $50 billion budget recently proposed by Gov. Pat McCrory.
They had to keep rolling out chairs Tuesday night for what was billed as a “Conversation about Public Education in North Carolina,” held at the Asheville City Schools board room on Mountain Street. A larger-than-anticipated audience of 60 people — educators, elected officials, parents, advocates — came to talk about the status of public education, and to offer some opinions. And in a nutshell, the program message was that the status of public education in the state — which has been quantifiably climbing for years — is about to take a drastic plunge. (photos by Max Cooper)
There are only three weeks left before the 2013 session of the N.C. General Assembly hits its crossover deadline of May 16. In general, that means to have a chance at becoming law, bills must have passed a third reading in the house or senate (whichever chamber initiated the bill) and moved to the other chamber by that date. More than 1,700 bills have been introduced since January (1,002 in the House; 725 in the Senate), including the recent arrival of Gov. Pat McCrory’s proposed $49,590,935,190 budget for 2013-14. It’s going to be a busy time.
A seemingly straightforward meeting of the board of the Metropolitan Sewerage District of Buncombe County took two surprising turns on Wednesday afternoon. One led to a staff report on a private sewer-line failure that took more than two years to resolve. The other led to a vote on withdrawing a December proposal to the city of Asheville regarding the possible merger of water and sewer management — an action that was rejected. UPDATED THURSDAY, APRIL 18.
Elected in January as one of three Democratic whips, Rep. Susan Fisher of Asheville must know each bill’s contents and be able to explain them to her party’s caucus.
In a proposed merger of the Asheville water system and the Metropolitan Sewerage District of Buncombe County, the already-complicated factors have multiplied. This month, state legislators have proposed a bill that would limit how the city uses a portion of water revenues, and the North Fork Dam needs about $35 million in repairs. These issues […]
The hefty final version of an impact study assessing the potential merger of Asheville’s water system with the Metropolitan Sewerage District of Buncombe County was presented to the MSD board on Wednesday. The short version: potential net savings to water customers of $1.1 to $2.2 million per year over the next nine years.
According to a March 14 list compiled by Guns & Ammo magazine, North Carolina ranks 17th in the “Best States for Gun Owners in 2013.” That’s higher than neighbors Tennessee (23) and Virginia (24) but beneath South Carolina (14) and Georgia (13). New legislation currently before the General Assembly, however, could nudge the state out of the middle of that pack.
Citizen access to the legislative process in the state has taken a solid step forward via new features on the N.C. General Assembly website, and Buncombe County legislators are taking solid steps forward in the Statehouse itself. Meanwhile, in recent legislative action, Doc Watson and Ruth and Billy Graham are proposed for native accolades.
Does the N.C. Department of Transportation have a broad agenda of adding privatized toll lanes on highways statewide? NC Matters looked into this question, which was posed to the Xpress this week.
The N.C. General Assembly has stirred up some high-profile controversies during the first few weeks of its 2013-2014 long session. Meanwhile, with much less fanfare, several important bipartisan bills also found their way forward in the opening weeks. One is an ambitious attempt to establish a Public Infrastructure Oversight Commission.
A proposed compensation settlement of $57 million by the Metropolitan Sewerage District of Buncombe County for the proposed Asheville water system merger was officially endorsed on Friday by the MSD board’s planning committee, and moves to the full board on December 12.