Supporting an affordable water rate structure

February 19, 2024

The Chamber supports a water rate structure that remains affordable while also raising the needed funds to ensure its reliability. In a letter sent to Asheville City Council on Feb. 15, 2024, we asked for City Council to consider other options than the current three-year proposal being recommended by City staff and take the time to engage with the members of the community who will be greatly impacted by this proposal.  

We encourage business owners to reach out to City Council by March 28th to share the impact this plan would have on your business. You can email all Council members at

In a separate letter to City Council a year ago, we asked that the following be considered when reviewing the current rates:   

  • Work to avoid sharp increases for any user.   
  • Take the time to understand the effect of increases on commercial users and potential economic development projects.   
  • If increases are made, ensure that there is ample time for commercial and manufacturing users to prepare for these costs.   
  • Engage the business community to show the need for any increases and the positive steps that will be taken to ensure reliability.   

We believe that there is still work to do to ensure that the impact on users is understood.

In the proposed plan, commercial users and manufacturers will see sharp increases that will take effect in a matter of months. We believe the impact that this would have on businesses of every size and their ability to provide the products, services and jobs that the region needs have not been fully considered.  

The chart below was taken from the water department presentation given to Council on Feb. 13th.


As requested a year ago, we reiterate that commercial and manufacturing users deserve to have a seat at the table and a full understanding of the need if increased water costs are going to be explored.  The Chamber stands ready to assist in any efforts to advocate for state and or federal dollars to meet the capital needs of the system.