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.
The most-viewed news at mountainx.com this past week: A roundup of Asheville City Council’s Dec. 11 actions, which included approving pub cycles and reviewing the city’s study of the possible merger of the water system with the Metropolitan Sewerage District.
Release of a draft economic-impact study of the potential merger of the Asheville water system with the Metropolitan Sewerage District of Buncombe County is expected next week.
Due to the far-reaching effects of Hurricane Sandy, the planned November 1 discussion of the draft water study contracted for by the Metropolitan Sewerage District of Buncombe County has been delayed.
While there was no formal action taken, the board of the Metropolitan Sewerage District has reviewed what were called “underlying assumptions” used by staff in studying the proposed merger of the Asheville water system with MSD’s operation. The option of leasing the approximately 20,000 acres of protected watershed, leaving ownership in the hands of the city, was one item on that list of eight.
Today at 10 a.m., two major local issues will be discussed in Raleigh: the fate of the Asheville Water System and whether Mission Hospital will continue to operate under the only Certificate of Public Advantage in the state.
The Feb. 20 Mountain Voices Alliance water-system forum boasted 10 speakers, but most of the audience members seemed interested in just one: Buncombe County Rep. Tim Moffitt. These are some (but not all) of the highlights related to Moffitt’s comments and answers to questions directed at him during last night’s forum.
(Photo by Bill Rhodes) Representative Moffitt pauses to enjoy some bottled water when questions get hot.
Tonight, Feb. 20, Mountain Voices Alliance is hosting an open forum about the future of the Asheville-Buncombe water system from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Jubilee! in downtown Asheville (46 Wall St.). For live dispatches via Twitter, follow staff reporter @MaryCaitlinByrd or #avlh2o or click through for a live feed and streaming video.
(Photo by Bill Rhodes)
Barry Summers (right) and Rep. Tim Moffitt discuss issues during a break at the forum.
A sacred topic attracted more than 200 people who crammed into the pews of Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church on Monday night: the Asheville water system. Hosted by the Asheville-Buncombe League of Women Voters (and co-sponsored by Mountain Xpress and Urban News), the Feb. 13 forum served as an informational session to the public about the water system, its history and its possible future. These are the highlights.
With constitutional arguments concerning the Jan. 4 and 5 convenings of the N.C. Legislature now in the court system and the next scheduled session a month away on Feb. 16, the legislative calendar is currently dense with committee activity. And three committees specifically affecting Asheville and Buncombe County are part of the out-of-session action.
On Jan. 11, Xpress Contributing Editor Nelda Holder sat down with Rep. Tim Moffitt and talked with him about Study Bill 925, which created a Statehouse committee charged with reviewing and, perhaps, determining the future of the Asheville water system.
Two pieces of legislation affecting the city of Asheville — studying the transfer of the water system and giving the Asheville Regional Airport to an independent authority — won’t become law this year. Sen. Tom Apodaca‘s office confirms that, with the end of the session looming, neither bill will get through the Senate this session.
Republican state Rep. Tim Moffitt has filed legislation that would seize Asheville’s water system, turning control over to the Metropolitan Sewerage District. Asheville City Council member Bill Russell, who also sits on the MSD board, said Moffitt didn’t inform either body before proposing the legislation.