Council will vote on binding Asheville water referendum Aug. 14

At its Aug. 14 meeting, Asheville City Council will vote on placing a binding referendum on the sale of the city’s water system on the ballot this November.

The suggested text of the referendum reads:

“Shall the City of Asheville undertake the sale or lease of its water treatment system and water distribution system, including the reservoirs, watershed lands,
water lines, pump stations, storage tanks and other facilities used by the City of Asheville for the treatment and distribution of water?”

State law allows a city to hold a referendum on whether or not to lease or sell a water system.

“The language of the statute limits the voters eligible to participate in such a referendum to City voters,” the city staff report on the matter reads. “The results of the referendum would be binding such that, if the vote was ‘no,’ the system could not be sold or leased.”

The referendum would be held Nov. 6. At a special July 31 worksession, Council members proposed the idea as part of a “kitchen sink” in Council member Gordon Smith’s words, towards a controversial ultimatum from a state legislative commission that told the city to begin “good faith negotiations” on transferring its water system to the Metropolitan Sewerage District. The city has also launched a study of the details of a merger with MSD, seeking to talk further with its officials, and trying to arrange an Aug. 27 meeting with the local legislative delegation.

 

 

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7 thoughts on “Council will vote on binding Asheville water referendum Aug. 14

  1. “Shall the City of Asheville undertake the sale or lease..”

    Funny, I thought this was a “seizure.”

    “According to a draft report set to be made final next week, the state legislative committee will recommend removing city control of the water system and transferring it to the Metropolitan Sewerage District.”
    http://www.mountainx.com/article/42060/Give-it-to-MSD-says-state-water-study-committee-on-Ashevillesystem

    “However, the study committee’s report notes that if MSD and the city are engaged in good faith negotiations on a merger, the state won’t force their hand.”
    http://www.mountainx.com/article/44581/City-plans-to-begin-study-of-MSD-merger

    “The surprise came in the bill H1009, which doesn’t outright seize the water system, but empowers MSD to operate it once that seizure takes place, supposedly in January.”
    http://www.ashevillewater.blogspot.com/

    “Republican state Rep. Tim Moffitt has filed legislation that would seize Asheville

  2. ViewOfTheMiddle

    How long until Council realizes (after its been told countless times) that it doesn’t own the water system?

  3. Legislative Research Commission’s Committee on Metropolitan Sewerage/Water System

    Page 25.

    …Given all of the foregoing, this Committee makes the following conclusions:

    1. The City of Asheville does not own the entire Public Utility Water System;

    2. Buncombe County owns part of the Public Utility Water System;

    3. The Public Utility Water System is a

  4. Legislative Research Commission’s Committee on Metropolitan Sewerage/Water System

    Page 25.

    …Given all of the foregoing, this Committee makes the following conclusions:

    1. The City of Asheville does not own the entire Public Utility Water System;

    2. Buncombe County owns part of the Public Utility Water System;

    3. The Public Utility Water System is a

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