CoastLine: Political Reporting RTDNAC 2020
It's not often that open seats on a local water and sewer utility generate continuous media coverage and fiercer controversy than local mayoral races. But that's exactly how the 2019 contest unfolded for the two open seats on the board of Brunswick Regional Water and Sewer H2G0.
While the 2019 CoastLine Candidate Interviews covered a range of races -- including the mayoral contests for Wilmington, Leland, Southport, and Carolina Beach -- it was this material that challenged the interviewer and the candidates, clarified the issues, and cut through the rhetoric.
That’s the water and sewer utility in Brunswick County whose customer base is mostly Leland residents – one municipality within the county. H2G0 does not however, serve Brunswick Forest and Windsor Park, two large subdivisions within Leland, but it does serve Belville, parts of Navassa, and some unincorporated areas of Northern Brunswick County.
From the 2019 coverage:
As it has been for at least the last two election cycles, this is a hotly-contested and controversial race. Documenting the history of H2G0 and its controversies is beyond the scope of today’s candidate interviews.
What you do need to know is that Leland, Belville, and H2G0, are working towards an interlocal agreement after the Town of Leland filed suit against the Town of Belville in 2017. Leland officials brought legal action after the outgoing H2G0 board decided to transfer its assets to Belville before the incoming, newly-elected board could be seated. The move was ostensibly to keep H2G0’s plans for a reverse osmosis water treatment plant on track and out of the control of the new board that would bring a majority opposing it.
The RO plant has been the source of great controversy in Brunswick County – both before and after news of GenX in the water supply broke in 2017. H2G0 has worked towards creating an independent water source since about 2012.
Depending on who wins the two open seats, the overarching goals of the board, which include the RO plant, could change.