The Process

The first meeting of this committee is Jan. 23rd, in Raleigh. Public comment will not be allowed. The City Council of Asheville and the MSD have put together a Task Force to present the current state of the water system to the 'water committee', at this first meeting. A total of four hearings are allowed under the General Assembly's mandate - at least one will happen in Asheville, with the first potentially in February.

It could happen pretty quickly after that - they have until April, but they don't have to take that long. Anytime after the fourth hearing, the committee could put forward legislation for the full House to consider, and it could become law by summer 2012.

The 'water committee' led by Rep. Tim Moffitt: Metropolitan Sewerage/Water System Committee.

These are the issues that the 'water/study committee' has been charged (pg.5) to look at while deciding the future of Asheville's water system:
  1. Financial stability of the current systems on a historic basis and the anticipated financial stability of a combined system.
  2. Cost-benefit analysis of a combined system, including a review of assets and liabilities; personnel needs; equipment and infrastructure replacement schedules; facilities leased and owned; and fee schedules.
  3. Debt obligation.
  4. Taxpayer investment in the systems.
  5. Audit of current financials.
  6. Comparative analysis of the current system to existing public and private systems.             (emphasis mine)
  7. Conservation and water efficiency practices.
  8. Best management practices.
  9. The disposition of property in Article 12 of Chapter 160A of the General Statutes as it relates to the conveyance of a water system.
  10. The transfer of permits when a water system is conveyed.
  11. Any local acts applicable to the city or metropolitan sewerage district.
  12. Other items the Commission deems relevant to the study.

Raleigh News & Observer article re: NC Legislators who attended the American Legislative Exchange Council's annual conference in 2011
SourceWatch page on the activities of ALEC's Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force 
From the 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting Program: "A few of the issues that the Task Force will be considering at Annual Meeting include: public-private partnerships, a national infrastructure bank, long-term asset management, and multiple award schedule contracts... the Task Force meeting will (also) host a panel on effective privatization: 'Tapping the Private Sector to Save Money and Improve Performance.'"
"Model" Bills introduced at the meeting include:
  • Member, Private Sector Chair of Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee, proposed "Establishing a Public-Private Partnership (P3) Authority Act" (adopted) at Commerce, Insurance & Economic Development Task Force meeting and Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee meeting at 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting, August 5, 2011

 Read more on the Privatization? page.

Clean Water for North Carolina