Despite Council recently backing out of a quarter of its funding, the W.C. Reid Center phase-one rebuild got the nod from Asheville after a lengthly conversation. Council voted 6-1 (Mumpower voting no) to stay on track with a new building for the facility rather than turning to a renovation of the existing structure. Mayor Terry Bellamy, expressing her preference for the renovation option, nonetheless voted in favor of new construction after Council agreed to commit to completing later phases of the project.
Also at the meeting, Council:
• Unanimously adopted new rules governing its appointees to boards and commissions.
• Passed a $60,000 budget amendment to pay for four new early voting sites for the upcoming general election.
• Heard from city staff who determined Council cannot give preference to local companies competing in a bidding process. But most projects that don’t exceed the $30,000 threshold governed by state law are awarded to local companies.
• Found out that the city had used more than 6 percent less energy during the last year, the equivalent of half the annual power usage of City Hall, and that 75 percent of municipal buildings showed an energy usage decrease over the year, according to a staff report.
For extensive coverage of the meeting, see the Sept. 16 issue of Xpress.
— Brian Postelle, staff writer