The city of Asheville has dealt with budget concerns for a number of years now, but this year state legislation has pushed a manageable situation into a dire one, to hear staff and Asheville City Council tell it. How did the city get here?
House Bill 451, filed with the state legislature on March 27, will cut a full week of early voting and abolish voting on Sunday. While conservative politicians claim that this will save a large sum of tax dollars, little consideration has been given to the impact this bill would have on impoverished and working-class voters. […]
Asheville City Council will hold a special town hall meeting on its budget situation — including the possibility of dramatic cuts — next Thursday, April 18, in the gymnasium of Koontz Intermediate School at 305 Overlook Rd.
A vote on a living wage was delayed, the Business Improvement District was shelved, and Asheville City Council once again voted for a resolution opposing state legislation taking its water system. Also: Council will hold another budget town hall April 18 at 6 p.m. in South Asheville.
To hear Asheville City Council and city staff tell it, a manageable budget gap is now a potential crisis, thanks to proposed state legislation affecting areas from the water system to business licenses. To close the $5.9 million gap, staff have proposed sharp cuts in everything from public safety to transit to parks and recreation. At a special town hall meeting today, city residents exhorted Council against certain cuts and criticized state legislators (and occasionally the city too).
Follow live Twitter coverage of this afternoon’s town hall meeting on the city of Asheville’s budget crunch, and the radical cuts proposed to close a potential $5 million gap anticipated from state legislation. The meeting begins at 2 p.m.
A tax revaluation, rising expenses, and a barrage of state legislation are all creating a chaotic budget year for the city of Asheville. This afternoon, Asheville City Council and city staff will discuss the issues and invite the public’s input at a special 2 p.m. town hall meeting in the U.S. Cellular Center banquet hall.
About seven years ago, the Regional Water Authority of Asheville, Buncombe and Henderson County fell apart. The creation of what had been an historic agreement involving the three governments, ongoing disputes and frustrations led Asheville officials to end the partnership in 2005. Fast-forward to the March 28 filing of House Bill 488, which transfers the Asheville water system to the Metropolitan Sewerage District.
State representatives Chuck McGrady, Tim Moffitt, and Nathan Ramsey have filed a bill to take control of Asheville’s water system and transfer it to the Metropolitan Sewerage District.
At their retreat yesterday, Asheville City Council members discussed a variety of topics facing the city, focusing especially on density, budget issues, the effect of state legislation, and even a possible overhaul in the way city government deals with the arts.
State Sen. Tom Apodaca is sponsoring a bill that would make violations of the state’s open records and public meetings laws a misdemeanor. Currently, civil action is the only way to enforce those laws.
Buncombe Rep. Tim Moffitt has introduced legislation to add female toplessness to the state’s indecent exposure prohibitions. Except for breastfeeding, revealing “the nipple, or any portion of the areola, of the human female breast” would be illegal. Before last year’s Go Topless rally, Asheville City Council signed a letter condemning it and calling for state legislation. Photo by Max Cooper
The local fight over the legislative push to forcibly transfer the city of Asheville’s water system to the Metropolitan Sewerage District has helped spur a larger statewide reaction. Last week, the League of Municipalities adopted the defense of local utilities as one of its top priorities, and 40 cities and towns across North Carolina have passed resolutions against state government taking municipal infrastructure.
An assertion by Asheville City Council member Cecil Bothwell that the city’s ordinance banning firearms on city property should mean an end to gun shows here is unlikely to hinder this weekend’s show at the WNC Agricultural Center. State law restricts localities’ ability to regulate or prohibit gun shows, and city staff are currently looking into the implications of those rules.
At its Dec. 12 meeting, the Metropolitan Sewerage District board voted to offer $57 million over 50 years for the city of Asheville’s water system. Several members expressed doubts about the fairness of the process, but stopped short of a motion formally noting their reservations.
Asheville City Council finally heard long-awaited reports on a possible water system merger today. Council also reaffirmed its unanimous opposition to the state legislature forcing the issue and strengthened the conservation easement on the local watershed.
Opponents of the state legislature forcing Asheville’s water system into a merger with the Metropolitan Sewerage District are rallying downtown this evening.
The city of Asheville has released a report by the Raftellis consulting firm on a possible merger with the Metropolitan Sewerage District. The report claims that an “inter-local agreement” between the two would have the greatest benefit while avoiding the cost of a merger. MSD taking over the city system will, according to the report, cost the city around $3.75 million a year.
***UPDATED 2:37 p.m. Dec. 5: the retreat has been cancelled.*** Asheville City Council’s retreat this Friday will focus on relations with state and county legislators.
It appears that our governmental organizations within North Carolina have decided that they must become a provider to the wealthy at the expense of the average citizen. It appears that more and more governmental units are abandoning their central role of protector of our citizens. We have more and more governmental units at all levels […]
The Metropolitan Sewerage District has proposed a $57 million compensation deal as part of a possible merger with the city of Asheville’s water system. More about what’s in the deal, and what it might mean.