Asheville City Council preview: cornucopia edition

The budget, the water system, neighborhoods, food security, legislative goals, electronic gaming, and skateboards. Yes, all those topics (and more!) are on the agenda for tonight’s Asheville City Council meeting. There’s also two protests beforehand.

Staff will present the annual budget. While deliberations on the budget have gone on for months, this is the first major step towards setting in definite form what the city’s budget will look like for the next year. A public hearing and vote on the budget will follow at subsequent meetings.

Ashevilleans with thoughts on the state legislative committee’s recommendation to take the city’s water system and give it to the Metropolitan Sewerage District can offer their opinions in a public hearing tonight. The hearing was set up after Council members expressed dissatisfaction with the committee’s hearing process, held mostly in Raleigh.

Council will also decide on forming a Neighborhood Advisory Committee, a longtime goal for Council member Chris Pelly, who believes it will help better represent Asheville’s various neighborhoods.

Two contrasting options on skateboarding downtown are also before Council, as they consider strengthening the current ban or allowing it as a form of multi-modal transportation. The issue drew a crowd at Council’s march Public Safety Committee meeting, including many skateboarders calling for an end to the ban.

Council will also consider directing staff to investigate the issue of food security in the city, adopt new fees for electronic gaming, and discuss what state legislation it wants to endorse.

Before the Council meeting, Be Loved House will hold a 4:15 p.m. rally in support of homeless campers in Pack Square. The same location is also the site of a separate rally at 4:30 p.m. by proponents of the city retaining control of its water system.

Asheville City Council’s April 24 meeting begins at 5 p.m. in Council’s chambers on the second floor of City Hall.

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