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Buncombe Commission­ers to vote on tourism tax, parkway protection

The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners’ Sept. 1 meeting seems to cover all of the bases, from taxes to zoning to county services and a possible Vietnam memorial wall. The meeting will be held at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 1, in the Commissioner Chambers on the third floor of the county building at 200 College St.

Supporters of Homestays and short-term rentals wore red stickers at the crowded City Council meeting on Aug. 25. Photo by Virginia Daffron.

City Council grapples with Homestays, raises fines on short-term rental violations

From real estate investors to neighborhood advocates to homeowners trying to make ends meet, just about everyone in Asheville has a dog in the ongoing fight over short-term vacation rentals. At the Tuesday, Aug. 25 Asheville City Council meeting, citizens representing a variety of viewpoints crowded City Hall.

Asheville Meter Services worker Tyler White installs a new 1.5-inch meter service on Sweeten Creek Road in Asheville last Wednesday. The future management of the Asheville water system is currently in the hands of the N.C. Court of Appeals. The system consists of approximately 1,674 miles of water lines. Photo by Mike Belleme/Carolina Public Press

Should WNC’s drinking-water systems be publicly or privately owned?

Figuring out ways to preserve, repair and enhance decades-old — or even century-old — water systems provides a flood of challenges for cities, towns and communities across North Carolina’s mountains. And, experts say, ownership structures of those water systems may influence infrastructure upgrades, service quality and the ultimate price water users pay.

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City Council and Buncombe Commission­ers to meet in joint session, Aug. 18

Although Asheville City Council members and Buncombe County commissioners frequently attend the same meetings and community events, it’s been at least two years since the two bodies met in an official joint session. Finding a meeting time that works for all elected officials is challenging, explains City Clerk Maggie Burleson, but she believes that most officials will be present for the joint meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 18.

Creative commons photo by Travis Wise

Buncombe County to pay more than $7 million settlement fee for wrongful conviction­s

After a crowded and lengthy Tuesday, Aug. 4 meeting, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners went into closed session to discuss three legal issues and two economic development issues.

And after 30 minutes of private discussion, the commissioners rejoined the then-sparse audience to announce the county must pay more than $7 million in settlement fees to five men who were wrongfully convicted under former Sheriff Bobby Medford’s watch and had served six to 11 years behind bars.

Asheville City Council voted on July 28 to revise the city's animal ordinance, banning animal entertainment, like circuses, from occurring within the city limits. Flickr photo by Laura Bittner.

Asheville City Council gives the boot to animal entertainm­ent

After the U.S. Cellular Center decided to prohibit wild and exotic animal performances in January, the Asheville City Council decided to consider prohibiting these types of events from all city venues. A revision to the city’s animal ordinance, banning circuses and other wild animal entertainment, was passed at the Tuesday, July 28 meeting.