Give it to MSD, says state water-study committee on Ashevillesystem

According to a draft report set to be made final next week, the state legislative committee will recommend removing city control of the water system and transferring it to the Metropolitan Sewerage District.

The copy of the report was first made public by the Asheville Citizen-Times on their website. Stay tuned for more details as officials, activists and residents respond.

Also made public today were supporting documents, including an appendix to the draft report.


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17 thoughts on “Give it to MSD, says state water-study committee on Ashevillesystem

  1. Dionysis

    Reading this, it is clear that the City of Asheville itself is being identified as the cause of most of today’s water concerns. Differential pricing for non-City residents allows, per the report, allowed Asheville to pursue involuntary annexation. Or at least that is the charge (among others).

    As tedious as it was, the report does contain some interesting historical information relating to water issues.

  2. Gordon Smith


    You’re awesome for reading through it!

    What you may have missed is the fact that most other communities ask non-residents to come into a municipality in order to receive services from them. Asheville, of course, has not ever been able to do that. We can’t do it now, and we haven’t been able to do it. This “remedy” is for a problem that does not exist.

    Here are a host of facts about the water system that aren’t included in the study committee report:

  3. D. Dial

    The draft made mention of the Asheville Buncombe League of Women Voters opinion on this matter but left out an important part of our position.

    To clarify the LWV

  4. Barry Summers

    Interesting moment today from the “Hands Off Buncombe’s Water” press conference. After Elaine Lite pointed out that the Draft Report hadn’t been released yet, in violation of Tim Moffitt’s promise, a man in the audience waved a stack of papers, & informed us that the Draft Report had indeed been released.

    Elaine & the others at the podium replied that the report hadn’t been released yet. The man insisted, but then looked at his watch, & immediately backtracked & said it would be published online “in three minutes”. Nervous laughter swept the room.

    He went on to ask pointed & somewhat accusatory questions of the panel, while refusing to let others read his alleged copy of the Draft Report. After the press conference was over, he convinced the reporter from WLOS that the Draft Report in fact did not recommend seizing Asheville’s water system. The WLOS reporter dutifully went out in front of Pack Place & did his noon stand up – “If reports are true, the water issue may be over”…

    Never once did this person acknowledge that his current employer is… Moffitt International. We had to find this out by stumbling across his ‘Linked In’ profile.

    • Dionysis

      You so have choices. You could always move to that free market bastion of Singapore, which is what you advocated everyone do right after Obama was elected. Remember?

      I wonder what they pay for water?

  5. Barry Summers

    Okay, I’ll bite. What does “Bang!” signify? Some might construe that to be a threat of violence.

    Well, if you’re mad about possible water rate increases, as Moffitt’s mole at our press conference yesterday might say, get informed before you express an opinion.

    The MSD Director has said in plain english that if they take over the water system, all users can expect rate increases in the near future.

    “Regarding MSD taking over Asheville

  6. “The City is contemplating no rate increases that I know of”

    Then you have short term memory. Or it depends on the meaning of “is.”

    City council DID “contemplate” water rate increases and then changed its collective mind after Moffitt introduced the water study bill.

    Also, I’m sure water customers would rather see revenues go to system operations and improvements rather than the city’s general fund for local boondoggle projects.

    • Barry Summers

      You’ve failed to clarify your apparent threat of violent reprisals for water rate increases, or to respond to the fact that the MSD has already essentially promised to raise your rates if they get the water system.

  7. Gordon Smith

    Zero dollars from the water system go to the City’s general fund. We can use up to 5% of water revenues for infrastructure improvements relating to water system improvements. In practice this means resurfacing a road if it’s been torn up to replace water lines or putting in sidewalk after water line installation or repair. This is what’s allowed by the General Assembly, and it’s what we do. We’re following all the rules, and there’s broad agreement among City and County governments that the current management structure is working very well. Rep. Moffitt’s “study” is a solution in search of a problem.

  8. Barry Summers

    Also, I’m sure water customers would rather see revenues go to system operations and improvements rather than the city’s general fund for local boondoggle projects.

    This is one of the lies floating around, like the “City wants to quadruple water rates for County users” lie that is written into the draft report.

    Tim(1), as Gordon said, the City is, and has been for years, barred by law from using water revenues for anything but the water system. You are either wildly ignorant or deliberately lying when you trot this propaganda around.

  9. D. Dial

    MSD did some extended work on Coleman Ave. recently…and if there is a 5% allowance for resurfacing the road after work, I must say the Coleman Ave resurfacing is stupifyingly bad workmanship for the 5% being used to do repairs.

  10. cnw4

    Re: road resurfacing – MSD currently has a contract with Asheville city crews to repair paving after sewer work is done.

  11. Barry Summers

    So what are you saying – they should raise rates to spend more on maintenance? Well, guess what – that’s what MSD has already said they will do if they take over the water system.

  12. john

    Not sure what Tim meant by Bang! but I like it. And the fact that it apparently offended some easily offended people. Bang!

    Here’s an idea to kick around.. Years ago, Athens and Clarke County GA created a unified govt. it became Athens/Clarke County. Saved money by eliminating duplication of services (such as police, fire…) and differential rates, etc…

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