The Citizen-Times reports Wednesday morning...
When Asheville residents turn on their water faucets this morning, they will still get water supplied by the city.
A judge in Raleigh granted a city request Tuesday afternoon for a temporary restraining order preventing a state law mandating the transfer of the water system to the Metropolitan Sewerage District today from going into effect.
The city filed suit in Wake County Superior Court on Tuesday, saying it would suffer irreparable harm if the transfer occurred today as directed by a bill that became law this week.
Details of the restraining order were not available Tuesday, but they typically last for a relatively short period of time, like 10 days or two weeks. The city will seek a preliminary injunction to prevent a transfer while its lawsuit is decided.
The city’s complaint asks that the law be struck down as a violation of the state and federal constitutions and a state law designed to protect holders of bonds issued by local governments like the city.
The law is “devoid of any rational basis for the transfer” and calls for “an uncompensated taking of the water system assets by the State,” the suit says.
A bill sponsored by Rep. Tim Moffitt, R-Buncombe, and other legislators to combine the water system, MSD and a small sewer system in northern Henderson County cleared the General Assembly on May 1.
Gov. Pat McCrory got the bill May 3 and allowed it to become law without his signature. The General Assembly declared the bill law on Tuesday. The city’s lawsuit says the bill became law Monday because that is when the 10 days mandated by the state Constitution ended.
The state's case, in support of the new law and the regional authority, will presumably be argued by the NC Attorney General.