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Posts Tagged ‘state government’


The sudden storms may have arrived on our forecasts. But steady rain has not. Thus serious drought conditions are creeping back through North Carolina, as shown by the monitoring map of the NC Drought Management Advisory Council.

Almost on cue, new legislation outlining water conservation cleared a major hurdle by being approved in committee Tuesday, the News & Observer reported. This summer we could very well see the approval of, or at least debate on, new restrictions designed to combat future droughts. As it stands, the bill would give the state more power in forcing municipalities to implement conservation plans or to provide emergency assistance to other communities in times of drought.

It also includes a provision under improving “water system efficiency” that’s of interest to anyone upset about local water rates. To be eligible for any state grants for water and sewer projects, a municipality would have to demonstrate that its system:

(1)      Has established a water rate structure that is adequate to pay the cost of maintaining, repairing, and operating the system, including reserves for payment of principal and interest on indebtedness incurred for maintenance or improvement of the water system during periods of normal use and periods of reduced water use due to implementation of water conservation measures. The funding agency shall apply guidelines developed by the State Water Infrastructure Commission in determining the adequacy of the water rate structure to support operation and maintenance of the system.

(2)       Implemented a leak detection and repair program.

(3)       Has an approved water supply plan pursuant to G.S. 143‑355.

 

In other words, no cutting rates by subsidizing out of the general fund or skimping on maintenance costs.

For more background on this issue, see our May 23 cover story.

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Mount Airy’s cultural icon just keeps popping up in state political discussions. First came Andy Griffith’s ad touting Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bev Perdue. Then Perdue’s opponent Pat McCrory used Griffith’s most famous character, Sheriff Andy Taylor, to drive home points about the state of the NC criminal justice system during a debate last month.

Now a Raleigh-based polling organization, Public Policy Polling, has released the results of its latest survey: who would Sheriff Taylor vote for in the presidential and governor’s race? Check out the results here.

I’m not sure which is more interesting, that Sheriff Taylor would split his ticket (McCain for president, Perdue for governor) or that 11 percent of all Republicans surveyed have an unfavorable opinion of Griffith as a person. Only 5 percent of Democrats feel that way, probably because he often endorses that party’s candidates.

Among the most interesting results to the poll’s coordinator, Tom Jensen, is that 6 percent think Sheriff Taylor would vote Libertarian.

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