Local residents start petition to fight state takeover of water system

As of Jan. 7, nearly 800 people have signed a petition that declares their opposition to North Carolina legislators making “any mandated takeover” of “any local government infrastructure systems or assets (in this case Asheville’s 20,000 acre pristine watershed).”

Last year, a state committee — chaired by Buncombe County Rep. Tim Moffitt — mandated that the local water system, managed by the city of Asheville, be transferred to the Metropolitan Sewerage District. MSD manages the sewer system for Asheville, much of Buncombe County and part of Henderson County. For some of the latest developments on state’s proposal, as well as MSD, city and other actions related to the issue, go to mountainx.com/water.


from SignOn.org
1) I am opposed to any legislation that forces the transfer of any local government infrastructure systems or assets (in this case Asheville’s 20,000 acre pristine watershed) to another city or entity, or to restrict or eliminate the ability of a locality to operate a municipal enterprise directed by elected officials for the benefit of city taxpayers and ratepayers.

2) I am opposed to any mandated takeover, as it sets a bad precedent for the future of all cities owning and operating municipal assets and undermines the confidence of municipalities to move forward to invest in their systems.

3) I am opposed to any mandated takeover, as it calls into question the authority of state legislatures to arbitrarily transfer assets from one local government entity to another.
Petition Background

North Carolina’s General Assembly is about to take the unprecedented step of seizing a municipal-run water system from a city, which in this case has owned and operated it for over 100 years. Members of the NCGA have signaled their intention to introduce legislation in early 2013 that would force the city of Asheville to turn over not only its water distribution system, but control of its pristine 20,000 acre watershed, to the Metropolitan Sewerage District of Buncombe County (MSD). Indications are that the city of Asheville will likely receive no compensation for the taking of these assets.

About Margaret Williams
Editor Margaret Williams first wrote for Xpress in 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987 and completed her Masters of Liberal Arts & Sciences from UNC-Asheville in 2016. Follow me @mvwilliams

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