Governor set to allow MSD/water legislation to become law

State legislation changing the board representation rules for the Metropolitan Sewerage District of Buncombe County, and allowing the independent authority to also operate as a water authority, appears set to become law — according to Henderson County Rep. Chuck McGrady.

“The governor’s office notified me that the governor will allow [HB] 1009 to become a law without her signature,” McGrady revealed by email late today, July 27.

The enabling bill, co-sponsored by McGrady and Buncombe County’s Rep. Tim Moffitt, both Republicans, was passed by the Legislature and sent to Gov. Bev Perdue on June 28. The governor technically has until August 2 to sign the bill into law, allow it to become law without her signature, or veto the bill. (Click here to read more about the bill.)

Asheville City Council just took action Tuesday night to urge Perdue to veto the bill, based on their opposition to the possibility that the Asheville water system may be forced by legislative action to merge with MSD.

Discussion at the Council meeting included support for the bill’s change in the representation formula, allowing the city to maintain three board representatives in the event that any part of Henderson County joins MSD. Under the current formula, Asheville — as a municipality — would otherwise be reduced to one representative.

But Council’s opposition to the second change in legislation — granting metropolitan sewerage districts in the state the ability to also operate a water system – was unanimous. Council also reaffirmed their February 14 resolution opposing the merger of the water system with MSD, as recommended by a legislative study committee headed by Moffitt.

by Nelda Holder, contributing editor

Editor’s note: Council is set to hold a work session on July 31 regarding the possible impacts of a merger with MSD. (See story here.) There will be additional information regarding the possibility of the merger in the August 1 print edition of the Xpress.


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