Commissioners approve funding for Water Assistance Program, Community Equity Fund, more

Press release from Buncombe County:

More than $400,000 will help low-income homes with water bills as the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners approved accepting federal funding for a water assistance program during its Aug. 2 meeting. The emergency assistance funding is designed to help low-income households prevent disconnection of water services or assist with reconnection of drinking and wastewater services. In all, the federal government is allocating $432,650 for the initiative.

The program runs now through June 2023. Please contact Eblen Charities at (828) 255-3066 if you’re interested in additional information or applying.

ARPA economic development appropriations

Commissioners approved $375,000 in ARPA funding for the Community Equity Fund program that will to help minority- and women-owned businesses continue to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is administered by Eagle Market Streets Development Corporation and will provide local businesses a capital infusion without having to take on additional debt.

For additional information, contact Eagle Market Streets Development Corporation at (828) 281-1227.

MSD’s Fiscal Year 2022 update

The Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) provided Commissioners with a yearly update on its operations. MSD owns and maintains more than 1,100 miles of County collection lines that serve more than 200,000 people. During the past 12 months, MSD has:

  • Conducted preventative maintenance cleaning of 874,899 feet of sewer main.
  • Constructed 21,000 feet of new sewer lines to replace aging lines.
  • Spent $1.57 million on asphalt paving

MSD is also starting a 10-year capital improvement that will spend $389.3 million on collection system rehabilitation, a treatment plant, and more. For more information on MSD operations, you can view their presentation here.

Budget amendment for epidemiology laboratory capacity enhanced detection

State money will help continue COVID-19 preparedness by offsetting the cost of an existing temporary nursing position and funding two new temporary administrative positions. Commissioners approved accepting the $1,233,156 in state funding that will also provide support with testing, contact tracing, surveillance, containment, and more.

Budget amendment to move funding for two positions from Legal to Emergency Services

Two positions that have existed in the Legal and Risk Cost Center are being moved to the Emergency Services Cost Center to better align with departmental operations. Those positions are: Safety, Preparedness, and Recovery Officer and Safety Officer. This budget amendment moves $260,039 for both positions from the General Government Function to the Public Safety Function. No new funds are required.

About Community Bulletin
Mountain Xpress posts selected news and information of local interest as a public service for our readers. To submit press releases and other community material for possible publication, email

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.