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Independent review panel to probe water outages
Wednesday, 18 January 2023 23:03

From Staff Reports

Asheville City Council established an independent review committee on Jan. 10 to investigate the causes of the recent water outages and what measures need to be taken to prevent them from recurring, Asheville television station WLOS (News 13) reported Jan. 10.

Thousands of customers were left without water from Dec. 24 through Jan. 4, when the southern and western regions of the Asheville regional system was beset with major outages.

The problems began when temperatures plunged to zero on the morning of Dec. 24. Water draining into the settling basins at the Mills River intake froze, knocking the facility offline and breaking a number of water lines across the system.

“The purpose of the committee is to review the outages and provide a comprehensive account of what happened,” News 13 noted. “That will include assessing the city’s operational and emergency response and communication efforts and reviewing what changes should be made to the infrastructure.”

The committee will include nine members as follows:

• Two residential water customers

• One commercial water customer

• One emergency response professional/ disaster specialist

• Two communications professionals

• Three subject matter experts in public water systems

Whats more, two of the appointments will be made by Buncombe County Board of Commissioners.

The Daily Planet contacted Mayor Esther Manheimer seeking a statement or interview regarding city’s actions during the water outage, but did not receive a response from her by deadline.

The newspaper also reached out for a statement from or interview with Councilwoman Kim Roney, who has been highly critical of the city’s water system response, but did not receive a response from her by this edition’s deadline.

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Focus on hiring, retention as jobs top job-seekers 2:1 in area, agency leader tells CIBO
Wednesday, 18 January 2023 23:00

By JOHN NORTH

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The ratio of jobs to job-seekers in the Asheville Metropolitan Statistical Area is about 2:1, meaning that, at this moment, hiring remains crucial for local employers, but that they also simulateously must rev up their effors to retain their workers in the future, according to Nathan Ramsey, head of a major local workforce development agency.


Ramsey made the aforementioned statement in an address on  “The State of the Local Economy” (i.e. the Asheville MSA), which he presented during the Jan. 6 breakfast meeting of the Council of Independent Business Owners in UNC Asheville’s Sherrill Center.


“Prior to the pandemic, the last couple of years, we did have a lot of employers talk about housing and transportation and childcare and things like that, but I think now more employers are recognizing that those things are barriers to them recruiting and retaining workers,” Ramsey said.

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