Commissioners hear update from Asheville Airport, consider public-private partnership to increase affordable housing, approve funds for conservation easements

News release from Buncombe County:

The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners addressed several key issues during their June 4 meeting, including updates from the Asheville Airport, considerations for a public-private partnership to increase affordable housing, and the approval of funds for conservation easements.

The Board officially recognized June as Gun Violence Prevention and Awareness Month in Buncombe County. In 2023, the Buncombe County Register of Deeds recorded 51 death certificates indicating gun-related deaths. Of those incidents, 46 occurred within Buncombe County, with the youngest decedent being 14 years old and the oldest 94 years old. The community is encouraged to raise awareness of gun safety and gun violence at the June 7 event at Pack Square Park, starting at 2 p.m. Read the full proclamation here.

Lew Bleiweis, Executive Director of the Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority, provided an annual report for the airport, highlighting ongoing developments and future plans to enhance operations and services.

The Board expressed their gratitude to Task Force 2 for its recent deployment to Texas to assist with extreme flooding, marking its second deployment during this fiscal year. Members from Buncombe County Emergency Services, West Buncombe Fire Department, Reems Creek Fire Department, Skyland Fire Department, and Asheville Fire Department assisted with the response.

In old business, the Board discussed the possibility of a formal public-private partnership under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 143-128.1C(b) to address the critical need for a capital improvement project to increase affordable housing. The adoption of the proposed resolution will allow the County to consider entering into a public-private partnership with a qualified developer at the Ferry Road site.

The Agriculture Advisory Board requested easement purchase funds amounting to $511,500 for Okoboji Farm from the Open Space Bond funds, allocated from the FY24 Conservation Easement Funding. Additionally, the Land Conservation Advisory Board requested $310,000 for transaction costs for four conservation easements protecting 600 acres of Warren Wilson College Farm and forestland. Click here for the full presentation

Finance staff presented updates to the Capital Improvement Policy, incorporating language on funding the capital reserve. The Board asked staff to revise the policy to include language that provides flexibility in the funding amount each year. The draft can be found here.

To view the full meeting, go to All board materials can be accessed at

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