Supplement and forum to address water negotiations

Access to plentiful sources of clean, safe water and an efficient, cost-effective delivery system are essential to healthy communities. Buncombe and Henderson counties and their incorporated cities and towns are blessed with plentiful water. But local governments are embroiled in conflict over who should control the distribution of this most essential resource.

To help residents of both counties better understand the controversy and its potential impact on them, the Coalition of Asheville Neighborhoods, Mountain Xpress, the Asheville Citizen-Times and the Hendersonville Times-News are co-sponsoring a forum on the issues that surround the impending dissolution of the Regional Water Authority. The forum will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. April 6, 2005 at the Holiday Inn Asheville Airport.

Panelists will include Buncombe County Commission Chairman Nathan Ramsey, Henderson County Commission Chairman Bill Moyer, Asheville Mayor Charles Worley, Hendersonville Mayor Fred Niehoff, Black Mountain Mayor Michael Begley and Mills River Mayor Roger Snyder. Also on the panel will be Advantage West CEO Dale Carroll, Citizens for Safe Drinking Water and Air Chairperson Hazel Fobes, Asheville/Buncombe League of Women Voters President Kathleen Balogh, and Coalition of Asheville Neighborhoods Vice President Barber Melton.

The three newspapers will publish jointly a special section in advance of the forum outlining the issues and providing a history of the agreement that led to the Regional Water Authority. The Citizen-Times and Times-News will publish the section on Sunday, April 3, and Mountain Xpress will publish it on Wednesday, April 6.

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