Who is MSD?

With the battle over the fate of Asheville’s water system, the Metropolitan Sewerage District is increasingly in the news, with accompanying questions about who the agency is and what they do.

Members of the public have asked Xpress reporters if MSD is a private company, and who controls it.

MSD is an independent public agency founded back in 1962 by the State Stream Sanitation Committee, and charged with managing wastewater treatment throughout the area. It’s generally stayed out of political firestorms until recently, when a legislative push by Rep. Tim Moffitt proposed putting the city of Asheville’s water system under the agency’s control. Since then, MSD board meetings have often been packed, and some, like Chair Steve Aceto, have expressed their desire to get back to the days when the board mostly handled the land and technical details of managing the local wastewater system.

As for who controls it, day-to-day operations are run by General Manager Tom Hartye, overseen by a 12-member board, with members, often elected officials, appointed by every entity in its jurisdiction. Currently, MSD’s board is made up of the following:

Steve Aceto, Chair, representing the town of Montreat

Jackie Bryson, Secretary/Treasurer, representing the Woodfin Water and Sewer District

Chris Pelly, Asheville City Council member, representing the city of Asheville

Esther Manheimer, Vice Mayor, representing the city of Asheville

Jon Creighton, Assistant County Manager, representing Buncombe County

Bill Stanley, former Buncombe County Commissioner, representing Buncombe County

E. Glenn Kelly, Town Commissioner, representing the town of Biltmore Forest

Bill Russell, former Asheville City Council member, representing the city of Asheville

Max Haner, representing Buncombe County

Robert C. Watts, representing the town of Black Mountain

Jerry VeHaun, Woodfin Mayor, representing the town of Woodfin

Al Root, Weaverville Mayor, representing the town of Weaverville


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