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Another 2005 law said Asheville no longer could deny water service as long as it has the capacity, effectively opening the door to chaotic growth. This has not yet happened, due largely to the Great Recession, but the threat remains.
This is not the first stab at regionalization. But the city still owned the system and thus was largely in control.
The only certainty is that it will not be the last chapter.
"It was run by the city pure and simple," said Bill Stanley, a longtime county commissioner who left office in 2012. It all went through the city manager."
It can accomplish this by charging higher rates for out of city users, giving them an incentive to be annexed, and by planning system expansion in such a way as to discourage the suburban sprawl that gobbles up open space and farmland, and drives up the cost of government.
It's easy to argue against the transfer on grounds of public policy, but the question before Wake County Superior Court Judge Howard New Balance Women Shoes
Home rule gets lost in ongoing water dispute
The city had its own frustrations.
The action, he said, "seems so unfair to the city of Asheville" and would be overturned in a private dispute.
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Ideally, a city can use water service to ensure orderly growth.
Asheville has not been able to charge higher out of city rates to customers within certain defunct water districts since the first Sullivan Act was passed in 1933. The city has tried various pathways around the restriction but has been rebuffed each time. In 2005 the law was strengthened to cover all out of city customers.
dispute seemed to have quieted down. And then Moffitt made his move. His bill takes the city out of the picture completely, and offers no compensation for the millions city taxpayers spent on the system.
At issue this time around is a 2013 law transferring control of the system from the city to the Metropolitan Sewerage District, pushed through the General Assembly by state Rep. Tom Moffitt, a Republican who lives just outside Asheville.
Buncombe County residents had no say when the system for electing county commissioners was changed and Asheville residents New Balance Shoes Pink had no say about losing either their airport or their water system.
Manning is whether the move is legal, not whether it is wise. The judge noted the distinction in 2007 when upholding the 2005 laws.
the water system. All they care about is that when they open the spigot they get clean water at a price they can afford. But, behind the faade of a turf war are larger questions that should concern everyone in Buncombe.
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