Asheville water fight ensnares Greenville’s system

From the Greenville Daily Reflector:

The fate of Greenville’s water system has been tied to legal complications over a water system on the other end of the state, city officials and local legislative delegates confirmed on Thursday.

A new law that allows the state to transfer ownership and operations of water systems from municipalities to a group of regional systems took effect in May for municipalities that meet specific criteria. Greenville and its state-chartered water authority, Greenville Utilities, were exempted from the law.

But revisions being fashioned by the Senate Agricultural, Environment and Natural Resources Committee to another bill could eliminate that exemption.

If amended in its current form and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory, the new law automatically would transfer ownership and operations of Greenville’s public water system out of the hands of the city and Greenville Utilities Commission to Grifton and the Contentnea Metropolitan Sewerage District, a metropolitan water and sewage system, without any compensation.

The action is being taken because the city of Asheville in Buncombe County filed a lawsuit on May 14 challenging the General Assembly on the utilities transfer law, based on its narrow focus on that city alone.


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0 thoughts on “Asheville water fight ensnares Greenville’s system

  1. bsummers

    The Reflector content is subscription only. If you want to read the whole article, it’s posted here:

    Reps. Moffitt, Ramsey, and McGrady are trying to undermine the City of Asheville’s lawsuit against the seizure of its water system. The only way they can do it is to make another City subject to the same forced consolidation.

    And now the GOP reps in that district are as mad as Rep. Paul Stam of Wake County was, when he got up in the House and called the seizure bill unconstitutional, and “Oh by the way, don’t even think about coming after my town’s water system!”

    How will they thread that needle? Make it just plausibly ‘statewide’ enough to fool Judge Howard Manning into ruling it constitutional, but not actually have it apply to anyone but Asheville, because the affected legislators will raise hell.

    Oh what a tangled web we weave…

  2. bsummers

    Oh and thanks, XPress, for noticing that the water issue still exists. You chose to not report on the 100+ Asheville-area protestors that traveled to Raleigh this past Monday, or the several of our group that chose to be arrested in the Capitol, or the fact that this was the largest Moral Monday protest on record (3000+ according to the News & Observer. In fact, ThinkProgress is officially calling it America’s “Biggest Liberal Protest of 2013”), or the fact that WLOS actually sent a camera crew on the bus with us, doing live remotes from the road, etc., or that AC-T sent a team and they gave it big frontpage coverage…

    Just sayin’, it seemed like Asheville’s “progressive, indy weekly” might have acknowledged any of that. But no, complete silence.

    • mat catastrophe

      They’re probably afraid to write about it since Ms. Holder’s arrest, because they are clinging to some pretty facetious old-media notions of “objectivity”, when no such thing ever existed anyways.

      You can’t get on the “new media” bandwagon without coming to grips with some of the realities of the old world, MX.

  3. bsummers

    There’s something that has to be stated clearly – these people who are trying to force the City of Asheville to surrender its water system, have admitted through this latest chicanery, that they know that what they are attempting violates the North Carolina Constitution.

    Shame on them.

  4. bsummers

    Something interesting about to happen on this story in the Senate right now…

  5. bsummers

    The line in Chuck McGrady’s bill H94 making Greenville vulnerable to forced surrender of their water system has been removed in the Senate.

    The desperate scramble to make the seizure of Asheville’s water appear to be constitutional: Strike Two.

    Funny thing happened last week, though. The day after the language dragging Greenville into this was inserted into H94, Tim Moffitt quietly had its Senate companion bill (S112) moved onto his Regulatory Reform Committee’s agenda:

    That version of the “Amend Environmental Laws 2013” bill is essentially dead, dormant, unnecessary, now that all the substantive work has been done on H94. Normal routing of the legislation, as I understand it, is that once the Senate finishes with H94, it goes back to the full House for concurrence, and then it goes to on the Gov. desk. For S112 to become law, it would have to pass Moffitt’s committee, pass the full House, and then BACK to the Senate, which will already have heard this huge contentious fracking bill three times by then. Why go through all that? What’s the game here? Hmmm…..

    I hope someone on the City’s legal team is compiling all this onto a one-sheet for Judge Manning…

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