Water Authority notes

During their Jan. 18 meeting, members of the Regional Water Authority of Asheville, Buncombe and Henderson took the following actions:

• Named Henderson County appointee Jack Tate as their new chairman. He replaces Charles Worley, whose term on the Authority was not renewed last year by the Asheville City Council (Worley was elected to serve his third term on Council). Authority member Tom Sobol nominated Tate, as well as Gary Semlak (for vice chair) and Lewis Daniel (for treasurer). All were elected unanimously by those Authority members present at the meeting (Sobol, Tate, Tommy Sellers, Vonna Cloninger, Ted Patton and Daniel).

• Granted property owner/developer Jon Hall an exemption from the Authority’s standard water-system requirements, for his Emerson Ridge subdivision. In exchange, Hall will grant the Authority a right of way through the subdivision, for CP&L power lines. That will save the Authority the estimated $5,000 it would cost to extend the lines to the Spivey Mountain Reservoir via less direct routes; CP&L has indicated it can extend service at no cost to the Authority, if allowed to access Hall’s property. The exemption will allow Hall to meet the slightly less stringent state standards for private water systems, in connection with a planned expansion of the subdivision. The deal may also add future customers to the Authority system, once Hall completes the latest phase of the subdivision, Water Resources staff reported. Authority member Sobol said that, despite the potential perception of favoritism toward Hall, “I would hate to have to explain why we were spending $5,000 — and turning down [potential] customers.”

• Heard a summary report on water consumption and revenues: Last month, the Authority treated roughly 18 million gallons of water at its North Fork and Mills River facilities — the lowest monthly volume of water treated in several years, noted Water Resources Director Tom Frederick.

• Heard the complaint of Candler resident Dallas Norris, who said that pipes, 2 by 4s and other construction debris at the intersection of Holcombe and Monte Vista roads remain an eyesore. Cooper Construction has an ongoing water-line project in the neighborhood, under contract with the Authority. Norris also charged that Cooper has damaged cable-TV and power lines serving the area. He urged the Authority to “tighten the screws” and hold Cooper more accountable. Water Resources Director Frederick assured Norris that the Authority is continuing to negotiate with Cooper on these and other contract-related issues.

— compiled by Margaret Williams

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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