RALEIGH A bill to restrict local governments' land purchases resurfaced in the state House early Thursday after being voted down in committee Monday, but only after its scope was significantly narrowed.
The bill would originally have required that municipalities and other units of local government get permission from their county commissioners before buying property.
Now it applies only to Ashe and Watauga counties and only to acquisitions in which units of local government are condemning property outside their boundaries.[Asheville Citizen-Times]
Jonathan Jordan’s House Bill 875, entitled “Restrict Municipal Eminent Domain,” did pass the NC House yesterday and is now before the Senate rules and operations committee. It would become effective upon approval instead of July 1st, as in the original wording. If passed, the bill would require the consent of county commissioners within the affected county before a municipality could acquire property by eminent domain ... clearly targeting Boone's intentions of obtaining easements for a water pipeline from the New River.
This nasty little piece of special targeting will pass the Senate because ... it will. Who in the Republican majority in the General Assembly would miss an opportunity to punish the Town of Boone?
But ... this special targeting of Boone seems based on the Nathan Miller Era of the county commission and may not take the true measure of its new County Commission Chair Jimmy Hodges, who is a Chamber of Commerce sort of Democrat-turned-Republican and who is almost guaranteed to like the idea of a new water system (which, need we add, can be completed by Boone, at the expense of Boone citizens, and then blithely seized by the General Assembly for a "regional water authority," with the help, no doubt, of the same Jonathan Jordan).
This is bad business for Boone, all the way around.