CITY OF HENDERSONVILLE WATERLINE EXTENSION RESPONSE – WHKP

11September 2020

CITY OF HENDERSONVILLE WATERLINE EXTENSION RESPONSE

CITY OF HENDERSONVILLE WATERLINE EXTENSION ACTION The City of Hendersonville is very disappointed in the action taken by the Henderson County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday night relating to the waterline extensions for Nicholas Bowman and Sen Asheville 1, LLC. The placement of conditions on a demand to extend public water service to tasks that have been previously approved by Henderson County, since of philosophical distinctions over the management of the energy, is unfortunate for these property owners. These conditions will restrict the public’s access to safe dependable drinking water, lower access to fire defense, and boost insurance coverage rates for County homeowners and companies. Business expansions, affordable housing developments, and brand-new higher-paying production jobs will also experience negative consequences due to pricey energy extensions and less viable industrial sites. We strongly believe this action is shortsighted and unneeded.

The City of Hendersonville has attempted to deal with Henderson County to enhance the county-wide utility system. The following is a list of actions that have actually been taken by the City over the past seven years:

1. The City Council embraced a resolution of intent to follow the water and sewage system rate schedule through 2030. This rate schedule details the equalization of rates over ten years while still covering the expenses of upcoming loans for infrastructure improvement tasks. In the FY20-21 budget plan, City Council set the rate differential at 145% for water service bringing inside and outside rates closer according to the phased strategy.

2. The City board amended the rate schedule in 2016 to charge all public schools in Henderson County the within water and drain rates.

3. The City board hired an independent facilitator to interview representatives from Henderson County, regional towns, economic development agencies, and State representatives to acquire an understanding of issues relating to the operation of the Hendersonville Utility System. As an outcome, the City reinstated the Water and Sewer Advisory Council to allow for constant input from all stakeholders. This Advisory Council continues to meet quarterly.

4. The City invited Henderson County to take part in the advancement of countywide water and sewage system master strategies. Nevertheless, Henderson County chose not to take part.

5. The City has finished numerous water line extension jobs to serve economic advancement jobs throughout Henderson County. The tasks have actually been completed in collaboration with AgHC, HCPED, and Henderson County.

The City of Hendersonville is committed to working with Henderson County and other stakeholders as evidenced by the actions that have been taken. City Council continues to prioritize supplying customers with top quality drinking water, encouraging new advancement, and running the utility in an effective, trusted, and sustainable manner. We hope the Henderson County Board of Commissioners will reassess their position on water supply extensions.

Source: whkp.com

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