Saluda seeks permission to buy Tuxedo water system

Published 1:24 pm Friday, June 26, 2009

The City of Saluda has formally requested permission from Henderson County to purchase the Tuxedo water system.

Saluda Water and Sewer Commissioner John Morgan sent a letter to Henderson County Manager Steve Wyatt in May asking for the county&squo;s permission to purchase the system. Saluda must get permission from the county in order to make the purchase since the system is located in Henderson County.

Saluda is currently in negotiations with Aqua North Carolina to purchase their wells and water system at Tuxedo.

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Because of the drought over the last several years, the city has discussed its concerns that&bsp; being dependent on the City of Hendersonville as its only water source puts Saluda in a&bsp; vulnerable position. The drought caused a shortfall in Hendersonville&squo;s water supply and the town recently contracted with Asheville to purchase water from the Asheville system.

&dquo;We project that the Tuxedo system and the Lake Summit water system, which Saluda owns, would meet the needs of Saluda for at least the next ten years,&dquo; Morgan said in his letter.

Morgan also said in return for Henderson County&squo;s approval of Saluda&squo;s acquisition of the property, Saluda is offering to pay Henderson County a royalty of one percent on all water sold outside the Saluda city limits.

&dquo;Other advantages to Henderson County would be to help Hendersonville decrease its need to buy water from Asheville in the future and improved fire protection in an area where there are a number of summer camps,&dquo; said Morgan.

Saluda is also working with the towns of Tryon and Columbus to construct a water line between Tryon and Saluda so Polk County towns could purchase water from Hendersonville and Asheville when they are in need and Saluda could purchase water from Tryon and Columbus. Construction on that line should begin soon.