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Asheville City Council ratifies water agreement

The Asheville City Council debated a revised water agreement on Tuesday, April 22. The Asheville City Council debated a revised water agreement on Tuesday, April 22.


Commissioner Michael Edney, a member of the Board of Commissioners when the water deal was originally struck, helped broker the new agreement that commissioners approved just three weeks before the May 6 primary. Under the new agreement, Henderson County and Asheville will jointly market the property and split the proceeds if and when it sells. Then Henderson and Buncombe counties, using the projected $2 million proceeds and whatever Buncombe adds, would work together to build a joint law enforcement training center.
"However, the agreement also provides, let's be clear, that should a large-vision project not be feasible," County Manager Steve Wyatt said, "Henderson County would still have the ability to do something for Henderson County and our municipalities and perhaps invite some other folks in."
Edney defended the 1995 agreement, saying Asheville water service helped drive $330 million in property appreciation and "I think over a thousand jobs" along the N.C. 280 corridor. "There's been some sticking points basically because the city of Asheville chose to dissolve the regional aspects of it," he added. "One of the sticking points has been this 137 acres over at Bent Creek. ... We have been in position of owning this land with nothing to do with it and under the agreement it would have eventually gone back to Asheville."