With an annual economic impact of $2.6 billion, tourism is a critical industry in Western North Carolina. But politicians and local residents are increasingly asking whether the tourism industry is paying a fair share of the cost of providing everything from sidewalks to roads to public safety to tourists. Now, City Councilman Gordon Smith is pushing for a new study to consider the local tourism industry’s impact and sustainability.
In the aftermath of Buncombe County’s two-year effort to convince Orgegon-based Deschutes Brewery to build its East Coast expansion here, some critics have questioned the strategies employed. Buncombe County Commission Chair David Gantt released today (March 30) a timeline of events and supplemental documents correlated to Deschutes’ decision.
The quest for affordable housing: an introduction to the essay project and the Bowen study showing the problems Asheville and surrounding communities face on the affordable housing question, by Tracy Rose. The following essays are part of a series in which local experts were asked: “What would it take to solve the Asheville area’s affordable […]
Over the last few weeks, it seems as though many Asheville and Buncombe politicians are moving pieces in a bigger puzzle. From retirements to withdrawals, shifting boards to a run for state office — and 15 candidates running for Asheville City Council, a lot is happening these days in local politics.
The Council of Independent Business Owners has been called a lot of things over the years.
Few could argue that the nonprofit — whose members serve on such powerful public bodies as Asheville’s City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission, the Western North Carolina Regional Air Quality Agency’s board and the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners — lacks influence. But how far does it reach? And does the group still have the kind of impact that it did in the past?
As Asheville gears up to file a lawsuit against state legislation that gives control of the city’s water system to the Metropolitan Sewage District, some rejected ideas posed by Buncombe County years ago to provide compensation have resurfaced.
Grappling with their toughest budget in a decade, the Buncombe County commissioners have been debating austerity measures that would put the squeeze on many local nonprofits for the foreseeable future. And amid a still-sputtering economy, most of those groups are already struggling after years of rising demand and dwindling funding sources.
This year, both Asheville City Hall and the Buncombe County Courthouse turn 85. The two classic buildings are both undergoing renovation or expansion, part of an effort to keep them a center of civic life for the next 85 years. A look at their history, their future, and the end of the old feud that created them. Photos by Max Cooper.
This post features responses to the Xpress questionnaire from Democrat David Gantt, incumbent chair of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners. His Republican challenger in this year’s election, J.B. Howard, declined to respond.
In the race for the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners chairmanship, incumbent Democrat David Gantt faced off Sept. 24 with Republican challenger J.B. Howard, marking stark contrasts in how the two candidates would approach economic development, education, the budget and other issues.
I read a puzzling comment from Tim Peck on the Aug. 21 online article, "Commissioners Approve Personnel Ordinance, Reject LGBT Protections (see the article and comment at http://avl.mx/ji). I think it’s important that people understand Chairman David Gantt’s position at Tuesday’s Buncombe County Board of Commissioners meeting. My understanding is that the motion put before […]
David Gantt responds to the Xpress questionnaire.
The weather, which had been threatening rain, turned out beautiful for the annual March of Dimes Walk in downtown Asheville. (David Gantt and the ‘ambassador babies,’ twins Callie and Jorja Medford with their parents at the start of the march. Callie and Jorja were born early and weighed 15oz at birth. Photo by Bill Rhodes)
At their Feb. 21 meeting, Buncombe County commissioners denied a rezoning request that would’ve allowed more mobile homes in Reynolds and approved $50,000 for a job training program. Dr. Milton Byrd also announced that he’s going to try to unseat incumbent Board Chair David Gantt by running against him in the May 8 Democratic primary.
The rancor over the quarter-cent sales-tax increase to fund capital improvements at A-B Tech didn’t end when the polls closed on Nov. 8.
The first Republican-controlled General Assembly in 140 years ratified controversial voter districts July 28 that split Asheville and Buncombe County in ways that are likely to benefit GOP candidates.
County buys Volvo plant. County sells Volvo plant to Linamar Group, a Canadian manufacturer, the following year. Asheville gives Linamar $2.2 million in incentives over four years. Buncombe puts up $6.8 million in incentives. North Carolina pitches in $9 million. The hoped-for results? Almost 400 jobs for the Asheville-Buncombe area that pay, on average, more than $39,000 a year.
Governor Bev Perdue announces Linamar’s expansion. Photo by Jonathan Welch
It appears that our county commissioners could not care less that taxpayers don’t want to go deeper in debt in the worst economy in years. They want seven new offices, plus a larger meeting room and a few other spaces at a total cost of $464,400, not including more furnishings and electronics. The meeting room […]
The North Carolina Senate passed a bill May 18 to expand the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners from five to seven members and mandate district representation in place of the current at-large elections.