A few summers ago, Laszlo told his parents, Thomas Stern and Laura Gazzano, that he wanted to set up a stand to sell cucumbers in their driveway. Now 8 years old, Lazlo and his two younger sisters, Mina and Csilla, play a central role in the family business, an online seed store that launched on Thanksgiving 2017.
“The youngest generation … they are particularly focused on climate change,” says Ashley McDermott, one of the founding members of Sunrise’s Asheville chapter. “They’re the ones who have this emotional connection to it the most. They’re seeing and experiencing it now.”
Willey says people started gravitating to the project as soon as he started to work. “I’d turn around as I was painting, and there’d be a grandfather and a young girl with face piercings that didn’t know each other until they started talking about bees,” he says. “There was this connection that was happening.”
Buncombe County has used about a third of the total 12.5 million cubic yards of space available to receive municipal solid waste, which the department tracks separately from waste produced by construction projects. At its construction and demolition landfill, which sits on the same property but is sorted separately, the county still has about 1.3 million cubic yards of fillable space out of a maximum capacity of about 2.4 million.
Commissioners unanimously agreed Tuesday to enter into a modified economic development agreement with Linamar, which the county believes will enable the business to meet its targets by 2024.
The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a zoning amendment that allows manufactured homes in more county residential districts.
Following federal investigations into former County Manager Wanda Greene and others, Buncombe County has recouped more than $3 million through legal settlements with former county officials. That total could increase during a Buncombe County Board of Commissioners meeting this month.
On March 19, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners approved about $3.5 million in contracts for repairs and upgrades to four county buildings and four buildings at A-B Tech.
After approving the franchise in a split vote during their meeting on March 5, county commissioners will vote on contract terms to allow private ambulance provider Medic to respond to emergency calls when one of the company’s units is closest to an incident. The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will meet on Tuesday, March 19.
In Buncombe County, manufactured housing is limited to certain zoning designations, but the county planning board recently voted in favor of an amendment that would expand the list of areas where manufactured homes would be allowed. The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing about the change in the coming weeks.
Although some commissioners remain concerned the agreement could cut into revenue generated by local volunteer fire departments, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners decided in a 4-3 vote on March 5 to grant an expanded franchise to private EMS service Medical Emergency Ambulance, also called Medic. Commissioners Brownie Newman, Jasmine Beach-Ferrara and Amanda Edwards voted in the minority.
In an effort to address what he sees as needs in the department, which includes increasing the number of patrol officers, Buncombe County Sheriff Quentin Miller asked the board for additional funding to pay for 21 new positions and an increase in the number of vehicles that the county refreshes on an annual basis. The sheriff’s office anticipates that the requests would produce a total recurring cost of approximately $3.2 million per year.
On Tuesday, March 5, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will consider a proposal to award an updated franchise to Medic, allowing the company to use the county’s 700 mhz radio system and respond to calls when its ambulance crews are closest to an incident.
The Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office will no longer honor requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to hold detainees on ICE’s behalf without a valid criminal warrant.
Against the backdrop of ongoing controversy surrounding the persistence of Confederate monuments in the Southeast, UNC Asheville history professor Darin Waters will deliver a presentation on Thursday, Feb. 28, about collective historical memory in the wake of the Civil War.
Commissioners voted 4-3 to approve a plan that dedicates $3.13 million in Article 46 tax revenues in fiscal year 2020 for capital expenses at the college. The money would keep coming in each of the next seven years, increasing 5.5 percent annually to account for anticipated increases in construction costs. The county would also cap transfers from Article 46 tax revenue to the general fund at $5 million and would limit the use of that money to operations at A-B Tech.
The A-B Tech Board of Trustees accepted a compromise earlier this month that would enable the college to address a $25 million maintenance backlog using yearly payments from revenue generated by a quarter-cent sales tax approved by voters in 2011. Commissioners will consider the proposal during their meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 19.
Later this month, the N.C. Forest Service will help the city of Asheville carry out a series of controlled burns on at least 95 acres around the North Fork and Bee Tree Reservoirs, thereby reducing the risk of more severe fires in a watershed that serves more than 125,000 area residents.
The I-26 Connector project, an almost $1 billion overhaul of the highway system in and around Asheville, is one of 37 Division 13 projects that have been changed in a new draft State Transportation Improvement Program for 2020-29. The draft STIP identifies state transportation projects that will receive funding over a 10-year timeframe.
The A-B Tech Board of Trustees and Buncombe County are in the early stages of a compromise plan for the use of sales tax revenue for maintenance, capital and operating costs at the college.
In early January, Just Economics raised its living wage rate for Buncombe County by 65 cents, to $12.15 per hour for workers with employer-provided health insurance and $13.65 for those without insurance.