The Carolina Public Press has published a lengthy piece spotlighting the struggles of local water and sewer systems, which were exacerbated by Hurricane Florence after municipalities already faced challenges following Hurricane Matthew in 2016. "Dozens more were underwater before either storm hit, with shrinking economies and populations that make it difficult for them to cover routine expenses and service the debt on their water and sewer infrastructure," the article says before coverage of a recent legislative committee exploring the subject. This Bulletin has covered numerous meetings of this committee; refer to the Aug. 24 edition for the most recent. At the time, committee co-chair Rep. Chuck McGrady said he hoped members would focus on ways to assist systems that faced financial difficulties, as well as ways to assure clean water. Committee members are also looking at specific water/sewer systems under financial stress. Discussions in general have included consolidations and mergers to shore up troubled operations where feasible. League Director of Public Affairs Scott Mooneyham is quoted in the Carolina Public Press piece: “We believe that financial incentives from the state and federal level, to encourage more voluntary consolidation, represent the only viable means to address the problem,” he said. “Significant incentives are required so that non-troubled systems and their customers are not harmed. Financially sound systems would not be acting in the interest of their ratepayers/taxpayers by taking on the problems of troubled systems without financial help.” Click here for the full article.