ORAL ARGUMENTS TO BE HEARD NEXT MONTH IN REGIONAL WATER CASE

North Fork water reservoir

         Asheville's North Fork Water Reservoir 

 The North Carolina General Assembly passed a law in a recent session creating an all new regional water and sewer "authority", based around the existing Metropoilitan Sewage District which serves Asheville, Buncombe County, and some parts of northern Henderson County.  The new "authority" would take control of the Asheville water system away from the City of Asheville and place it under the new "authority".  The City of Asheville is taking legal action to hold on to its water system...and the Asheville Citizen- Times reports that some early court action will be coming this spring:

A judge will hear oral arguments May 23 in city government’s lawsuit seeking to block the forced transfer of its water system to the Metropolitan Sewerage District.

Attorneys for the city and state government have been trading written legal briefs in the case, which is being heard in Wake County Superior Court in Raleigh, for several weeks.

A 2013 law mandates the transfer without compensation to city government. Judge Howard Manning Jr. last year ordered that the transfer be put on hold until at least 30 days after he hears oral arguments in the case. It says Manning could extend that period if he wants more time to render a decision.

Mayor Esther Manheimer said recently that she expects whichever side loses at the Superior Court level to appeal to the state Court of Appeals.

The legislation creating the new "authority" had the backing and sponsorship of Henderson County Representative Chuck McGrady.  Parts of Fletcher and Mills River inside Henderson County would be served by the new "authority".