Asheville city seal

Council to vote on water review committee Jan. 10

Asheville City Council will consider establishing an “independent review committee to analyze the events and circumstances leading up to, and throughout the duration of, the recent prolonged water outage.” The group would evaluate Asheville’s emergency response, identify infrastructure needs and recommend policy changes to make the city more resilient.

Buncombe County seal

Buncombe prepares for trash collection fee increase

Waste Pro, Buncombe’s waste management contractor, will bump the rate it charges customers for trash pickup by $1.62 per month at the start of the year. On Tuesday, Jan. 3, the company will also ask the county Board of Commissioners to authorize an additional rate hike of 39 cents per month in light of higher recyclable processing costs.

Mills River Partnership live staking

Green in brief: Asheville protects land at Mills River water plant

Backed by a $400,000 grant from the N.C. Land and Water Fund, the nonprofit Mills River Partnership is restoring roughly 14 acres of riverside near the plant. Maria Wise, the nonprofit’s executive director, says her organization will stabilize the riverbanks and replace invasive plants with native varieties.

Chris Cooper

Asheville chamber looks ahead at changes in Raleigh

The local business group’s annual event usually features WNC’s General Assembly delegation and its reflections on happenings in Raleigh. This year, the entirety of Buncombe County’s incoming state House contingent was absent: As newly elected officials, Eric Ager, Lindsey Prather and Caleb Rudow were taking part in orientation at the capitol.

Greg Parks and Sara Disher Ratliff

Xpress holds forum for Buncombe school board candidates

The event, supported in part by the American Press Institute’s Election Coverage and Community Listening Fund, also aimed to uplift community voices regarding education issues. As moderator Aisha Adams revealed through conversations with the audience, many concerns about the school system are shared among voters with different views, even if they may disagree about how best to solve those issues.

Riverside Park rendering

Green in brief: Woodfin Greenway & Blueway gets $5.9M TDA boost

The funding represents the final amount needed for the $30 million project, which has been under development since 2011. The money will go toward constructing 5 miles of greenway along the French Broad River and Beaverdam Creek, as well as park facilities and a wave feature for whitewater enthusiasts.

Saluda Grade line in Saluda

Green in brief: Nonprofits plan conversion of Saluda Grade into trail

The path, running along an inactive railway, would stretch about 31 miles northwest from Inman, S.C., through Tryon and Saluda before terminating in Zirconia, about 7 miles southeast of Hendersonville. Hendersonville-based Conserving Carolina; Greenville, S.C.-based Upstate Forever; and Spartanburg, S.C.-based PAL are leading the effort.