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Asheville water system defense costs $550K so far

ASHEVILLE (AP) — Asheville water system customers so far must pay more than $550,000 as the city defends its ownership of the system.

Mayor Esther Manheimer told the Asheville Citizen-Times that she blames state legislators who supported a 2013 law that would transfer the system to the Metropolitan Sewerage District without compensating the city.

The city sued to block the law, and a Wake County Superior Court judge ruled in June that the law violates the state constitution. The state Department of Justice has appealed the judge’s decision to the state Appeals Court.

The primary sponsor of the 2013 law, Republican state Rep. Tim Moffitt of Buncombe County, said city taxpayers should cover the legal fees, not water customers. He says water customers live both inside and outside the city.

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