Buncombe County’s current indoor mask mandate has been extended three times after going into effect Aug. 18. Robert Pressley, the only Republican on the Board of Commissioners, has thus far been the only member opposed in any of those votes.
On Jan. 21, the U.S. Forest Service released a final draft plan that will cover over 1 million acres of public land in Western North Carolina for the next 15-20 years. Although public comment on the plan is closed, people and organizations who previously submitted comment are eligible to file objections through Monday, March 21.
The Asheville City Board of Education asked attorney Chris Campbell to speak on the desegregation order’s history and legal status during a Jan. 28 meeting. While the board took no action, Chair James Carter indicated that members would consider asking the court to change or end the order in the coming months.
Conducted by the ETC Institute, a Kansas-based consultancy, a recent survey aimed to evaluate resident perceptions of the county and its administration.
On Tuesday, Feb. 1, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will vote on whether to award Haywood Street Community Development a $749,000 grant toward construction of a 45-unit project in the West End/Clingman Avenue neighborhood. Asheville City Council has already contributed $296,000 toward the project.
Xpress made a formal request on March 26 for “all planning materials, documents, emails, invoices and other records” related to Asheville City Council’s then-upcoming retreat, planned for March 31-April 1. The city did not fulfill the records request until Dec. 15, turning over more than 900 emails and dozens of other documents.
The extra allocation comes from North Carolina’s state government, which designated the money for the purpose from its federal coronavirus relief funds. Eligible families must apply by the end of September and can receive up to a year of aid for rent and utilities.
Hendersonville-based Conserving Carolina transferred the 87-acre property, a former sod farm on the banks of the French Broad River, to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission after purchasing it for $440,000 with funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Fred and Alice Stanback.
The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners members unanimously voted Jan. 4 to extend the county’s indoor mask mandate through Wednesday, Feb. 16. The extended mask requirement does not contain any language regarding enforcement, nor does it specify the type of face covering that residents should wear, despite health experts saying cloth masks are insufficient against the omicron variant of the coronavirus.
The Jan. 4 agenda for the county Board of Commissioners lists “a discussion of Board of Commissioner districts and structure,” accompanied by a letter of engagement with Raleigh-based law firm Poyner Spruill dated Dec. 1.
As WNC heads into yet another year of economic uncertainty, Xpress asked regional business leaders, government figures and laborers about their takeaways from 2021 in the world of work.
With only Antanette Mosley opposed, Asheville City Council members voted Dec. 14 to approve the conversion of an East Asheville Ramada Inn into permanent supportive housing for at least 100 homeless residents — a project first floated to the public less than two weeks earlier.
Billed as a wrap-up of a busy year for WNC’s state legislative delegation, much of the Dec. 10 gathering hosted by the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce wound up being devoted to the future of the General Assembly — a future that, following a Dec. 8 order by the North Carolina Supreme Court, faces many unknowns.
Among the largest allocations are $12.2 million to accelerate the purchase and opening of Pisgah View State Park in Buncombe County, $7.2 million for the removal of hazardous dams in WNC and $5 million to upgrade the city of Hendersonville’s wastewater treatment plant.
Affordable housing, climate change, environmental protection and workforce apprenticeship programs were among the top focus areas identified by the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners during a Dec. 9 budget retreat at A-B Tech.
On Tuesday, Dec. 7, the county Board of Commissioners will consider creating three new planning positions at a cost of roughly $164,000 per year. The staffers would help manage feasibility studies as Buncombe pursues affordable housing on county-owned land.
The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners awarded over $11 million in federal COVID-19 recovery funding Nov. 16. Those grants did not include any money toward the city of Asheville’s controversial planned purchase of a Ramada Inn for a low-barrier homeless shelter.
No further details on the organizations that will get new funding or the amounts they could receive were linked to the Board of Commissioners agenda. Over 125 nonprofits, community groups and governmental entities have pitched to the board over the past several months.
In fiscal year 2019-20, the most recent year for which data is available, the city emitted the equivalent of roughly 18,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide. Its target for the year was approximately 15,600 metric tons of CO2, about 15% less than the actual figure.
In a unanimous vote, the county Board of Commissioners directed staff to maintain the county’s current library branches — including those in Black Mountain, Oakley/South Asheville and Swannanoa — and explore other ways to improve the system.
The current policy runs for less than a page and does not specifically define what a conflict of interest entails. In contrast, the new proposal is six pages long and describes a conflict of interest as “when private interests interfere or appear to interfere with the performance of official duties.”