SAYS HE DOES NOT SEE THIS AS A "TAKE OVER"
THE DEADLINE FOR INTRODUCING THE NECESSARY LEGISLATION COMES EARLY NEXT WEEK
Henderson County State Representative Chuck McGrady says his mind is not made up yet…and that he’s considering all the options…regarding the Hendersonville water system.
County commissions last week indicated that McGrady is the main one they’ll be turning to to take control of the water system away from the city that owns and operates it…and put control under the North Carolina utilities Commission.
McGrady has shown support for such a move…as he puts it…to keep water rates more equal for city residents and for water customers who live outside the city. On his way back to Raleigh Sunday afternoon, McGrady said the local news media is off bas calling this a “take over”…he said he sees it as “protecting” water customers outside the city.
The whole thing, says McGrady, started with his attempt, along with former State Representative Tim Moffit of Buncombe County, to fix problems and inequities with the Asheville water system…a legislative attempt that was rejected by the state Supreme Court a few days before Christmas last year.,
Any legislation involving Hendersonville’s water system, says McGrady, will be different…and he’s looking at all the options…has really committed to nothing at this point…but he says he does not want to go back to the way it was or is. Hendersonville’s mayor, city council, and city manager have all expressed strong opposition to losing control of the city water system; county commissioners in a 3 to 1 vote adopted a resolution last week in favor of the city losing control…and McGrady says he’s hearing from them all…but still is looking at all possible options.
Time is running out though…the deadline for introducing legislation to do this with Hendersonville’s water system is early next week. If legislation is introduced in the House, it’ll also have to pass in the state Senate and be signed into law by Governor Cooper. And indications are, if all that happens, the city of Hendersonville will likely go to court to keep control of its water system. That failed attempt to take over the Asheville water system, by the way, cost water customers and taxpayers a million dollars in legal fees.
By Larry Freeman 03/19/17 Updated 4 pm