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.
Author: Daniel Walton
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Asheville prepares Municipal Climate Action Plan
According to the city’s website, the plan, being drafted by Winston-Salem-based consultant AECOM for $95,000, “will incorporate all new additions of policies and resolutions while creating a roadmap on how to accomplish adopted goals” for sustainability and climate through 2030.
Buncombe files new lawsuit against Wanda Greene
The complaint, which also names Greene’s son Michael Greene and his wife, Celena Greene, alleges that the former official hid hundreds of thousands of dollars with her family members to avoid paying restitution to Buncombe County.
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.
How much solar energy does local government produce?
Both Buncombe County and the city of Asheville have resolved that, by the end of 2030, government operations will be powered entirely by renewable energy. With less than eight years until that deadline, what progress has been made toward the energy goals?
Green in brief: Morrow Landing to offer new French Broad access near Brevard
The land, purchased by Conserving Carolina, falls roughly halfway between the current Island Ford and Hap Simpson Park access points, which are separated by nearly 10 miles of river. Morrow Landing’s placement will therefore facilitate shorter trips by less experienced river users and improve access for emergency responders.
Ten things to know about Asheville’s proposed budget
Asheville City Council will hold a hearing on the proposed fiscal year 2022-23 budget during its 5 p.m. regular meeting Tuesday, June 14. In anticipation of that hearing, Xpress has pulled 10 noteworthy takeaways from the 112-page document.
Green in brief: MountainTrue turns 2022 Bioblitz into friendly competition
“By expanding the blitz to four counties and making a game of it, we hope to be able to engage more people and find more species,” said MountainTrue Public Lands Biologist Josh Kelly. “We might even find some that have never been recorded in our region.”
Buncombe board to vote on support for Mission competitor
A letter drafted by Chair Brownie Newman and scheduled for a June 7 vote of approval by the full Board of Commissioners urges state regulators to favor nonprofit health care systems over HCA Healthcare, which owns Mission, when considering applications to build new hospital capacity.
Five takeaways from Buncombe’s 2022 primaries
The Buncombe County Board of Elections won’t officially certify the results until Friday, May 27, and the N.C. Board of Elections will issue its own certification Thursday, June 9. But even with those steps still to come, there’s plenty to learn from the unofficial results.
When lawyers, planners and elected officials get into the weeds of jargon and legal minutiae, it can seem like they’re no longer speaking English. Here’s a list of some of the most commonly encountered — and commonly confused — terms that come up in development discussions.
How to request development records
Development projects leave obvious marks on the world around them. But every building that goes up in Western North Carolina also leaves a paper trail in local government archives that, as public property, residents have the legal right to inspect.
How to keep abreast of proposed development projects
Both Asheville and Buncombe County offer a number of tools to help residents avoid getting caught off guard by development. The following resources give early notification of development proposals and provide more information about each project’s movement through the overall approval process.
WNC primary elections 2022 live coverage
Watch this space for the latest 2022 primary election results for Western North Carolina and commentary from the Mountain Xpress news team. The post will be updated regularly throughout the evening.
Buncombe proposes land conservation goal
At the recommendation of the county board’s Environment & Energy Stewardship Subcommittee, which includes board Chair Brownie Newman along with Commissioners Parker Sloan and Terri Wells, members will vote on whether to commit to conserving 20% of Buncombe’s total acreage by 2030.
Local schools seek major support from Buncombe leaders
Requests outlined by Buncombe County Schools Superintendent Tony Baldwin and Asheville City Schools Superintendent Gene Freeman sought county government spending increases of up to $27.9 million, representing a nearly 32% jump from the county’s current contribution.
Buncombe’s unsheltered homeless population doubles in a year
Buncombe County’s latest Point-In-Time count — meant to record every resident sleeping on the streets, at a shelter or in transitional housing on a single night — found 232 unsheltered residents in January 2022, up from the 116 people counted a year before. Overall homelessness in the county increased by about 21% over the same period.
Green in brief: Chestnut Mountain Nature Park opens to public
About 35 acres of the nearly 450-acre tract — purchased by the nonprofit Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy in 2020 and recently transferred to the town of Canton — are now open, including the Berm Park mountain bike skills course and a mixed-use hiking/biking trail.
Council to hear $11.7M in ARPA requests
A week after the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners doled out about $4.9 million of its own American Rescue Plan Act allotment, Asheville City Council will consider over $11.7 million in ARPA projects Tuesday, May 10.
Salary increases drive Buncombe County budget growth
By far the biggest contributor to Buncombe County’s spending growth in fiscal year 2022-23, accounting for $14.6 million of a projected $20.4 million in new general fund expenses, is salaries and benefits.
Voters may decide on $70M in Buncombe borrowing this year
During an April 19 briefing, the county Board of Commissioners heard a presentation by the nonprofit Trust for Public Land about the feasibility of issuing $70 million in bonds for housing and land conservation, which in this case would require approval through referendums of Buncombe voters.