The study committee reviewing the Asheville water system and contemplating its future begins its series of four meetings today in Raleigh. Chaired by Buncombe County Rep. Tim Moffitt, the Metropolitan Sewage/Water System Committee will take background testimony today in its 2 p.m. meeting in Room 544 of the Legislative Office Building. The meeting will be live streamed through the General Assembly website (click here).
The meeting begins with an overview of the Sullivan Acts, legislation unique to the Asheville/Buncombe County water history, presented by Gerry Cohen, legislative director of bill drafting, and Heather Fennell, staff attorney for the research division. A debt and economic overview will then be provided by Vance Holloman, deputy treasurer with the state and local finance division.
Local perspectives will be offered by Vice Mayor Esther Manheimer, the Asheville City Council liaison to the committee (along with Council member Jan Davis), and by the directors of the current Asheville Water Resources Department, Steve Shoaf, and the Metropolitan Sewerage District, Tom Hartye. Steve Aceto, chairman of the MSD board, will also offer historical information on the MSD authority — created in 1962 to serve numerous towns and communities in Buncombe County. Committee discussion follows the presentations.
The committee plans to hold its second meeting in Asheville on February 23 or 24, to hear from various segments of the public: city residents, county residents, business interests and others. Background on the creation of the study committee, which was proposed by Moffitt, is available here.
by Nelda Holder, contributing editor
Photo by Bill Rhodes