Creators of DemocracyApps hope to lift the barrier and inspire more public involvement in local government, making it easier for citizens to understand key decisions. The interactive site provides detailed spending breakdowns and compares current expenditures with those of prior years.
Asheville City Council passed the 2015-2016 fiscal year budget yesterday that increases property taxes and fees for municipal services. The budget also gives raises to city employees. Council voted 6-1 to approve the budget, with Council member Chris Pelly voting against.
At the Tuesday, June 16, Buncombe County Board of Commissioners meeting, commissioners approved the $388 million budget for the 2016 fiscal year, an economic development incentive grant for Tyco Electronics Corporation and two connected rezoning requests — and tabled a third rezoning request for the board’s next meeting in August.
Several Parker Cove residents stood before the Buncombe County Planning Board on Monday, June 15, hoping to convince the board to deny approval for a revised plan for the subdivision called Maple Trace. However, the board decided to give the developer the go-ahead with the revised plan.
They’ve heard funding requests from nonprofits and others, they’ve seen the budget draft, and they’ve considered the public comments. Now, at the Tuesday, June 16 regular meeting, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will vote on the finalized budget for the 2016 fiscal year.
Cheers and jeers resounded from the podium about the budget, which Council will formally adopt on June 23. The $154-million budget includes a 1.5 cents property-tax increase.
“If passed, the TPP would affect North Carolina and every other state in our country at the local, regional and state level.”
Local company Regional Recycling Solutions has big plans to open a recycling center, using “green” European technology, on Pond Road near Enka. But residents and members of the community take serious issue with not only the facility being built in their backyards but the consequences that truck-traffic on the winding roads could bring. A public hearing for the facility will be held on July 8 at noon, 30 Valley St., in Asheville.
At what was probably the shortest Buncombe County Board of Commissioners meeting in recent memory, the commissioners unanimously approved an economic development project and a rezoning request and held a public hearing for the 2016 budget.
In her landmark 1955 book, The French Broad, Asheville author Wilma Dykeman said the river was “above all, a region of life, with all the richness and paradox of life.” She described a watershed rich in flora and fauna, ranging from the “fertile fields and gentle fall” through Transylvania and Henderson counties to the sudden “plunge between steep mountains” around Asheville, “strewn with jagged boulders.”
At the Tuesday, June 2, Buncombe County Board of Commissioners meeting, county staff will review the proposed 2016 budget, hear an economic development proposal and discuss seeking advice on a Woodfin firing range.
“if the city of Asheville really wants to fulfill the mayor’s promise to Michelle Obama to end veteran’s homelessness, it is going to have to figure out a way to fund and build a veterans apartment building or create some affordable housing for veterans another way.”
City plans to improve infrastructure, expand public space, increase access and encourage private development in the River Arts District have triggered considerable controversy. Xpress reached out to the city, RAD business and property owners, and organizations involved in the now flourishing area’s revitalization to try to answer some key questions.
On the agenda for the May 26 Asheville City Council meeting: lots of public hearings on housing projects around town, including a mixed-use development project at 146 Roberts St.
Education was a hot button issue this Friday, with the N.C. House passing a $22 billion spending budget, which increased funding for schools. This meant that a visit from Sen. Terry Van Duyn, D-Buncombe, who spoke today at an Asheville City Schools Foundation event, could not have come at a more relevant time.
Identifying the challenges facing the Future I-26 project is fairly straightforward; implementing the needed improvements is more complicated. So how does an ordinary highway become an interstate? And when might the stretch north of downtown Asheville make the interstate grade?
“Despite its name, Regional Recycling Solutions (the new solid-waste recycling facility proposed for West Asheville along Hominy Creek) is a big step backward for recycling here in Western North Carolina.”
At the Tuesday, May 19 meeting, commissioners unanimously approved a project to protect the region’s disappearing hemlock population. They also heard budget requests from Buncombe County Schools, Asheville City Schools, A-B Tech and District Attorney Todd Williams, as well as the proposed budget for the 2016 fiscal year — all of which will come to a public hearing at the next regular meeting, on June 2.
The Tuesday, May 19, Buncombe County Board of Commissioners’ meeting will be all about the budget — shifting near the end to discuss a possible hemlock preservation project.
“I can see how your reader interpreted the 2014 Water Quality report to suggest that Schnabel Engineering is doing a $25 million study. We have engaged Schnabel over the past several years to assess our primary water supply dam and identify improvements that are necessary to bring the dam into compliance with N.C. Dam Safety regulations.”
It’s not yet clear what action Asheville City Council members will take on short-term rentals, but Council is leaning toward stiffer fines, stricter enforcement and a continued ban in residential areas.