Buncombe commissioners to consider incentives, easements; DeBruhl to be sworn-in Dec. 1

Commissioner Miranda DeBruhl announced she is vacating her seat on the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners and will also drop her bid for Chair in November's general election. Photo courtesy of Miranda DeBruhl

The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners has a busy few weeks coming up, with several meetings planned as well as the swearing in of its newly elected member, Miranda DeBruhl.

DeBruhl will be sworn into service on Dec. 1. At 34 years old, she will become the youngest woman to ever serve on the Commission, according to board Clerk Kathy Hughes. She’s the first Republican woman to be elected to the board since 1976, according to Hughes.

The political newcomer beat incumbent David King in the GOP primary and defeated King’s wife, unaffiliated candidate Nancy Waldrop, in the Nov. 4 general election.  On the board she will represent District 3, which encompasses much of western Buncombe, including Sandy Mush, Enka-Candler and Biltmore Forest.

Ahead of her swearing-in ceremony, DeBruhl plans to attend a commissioner retreat Thursday-Friday, Nov. 13-14. The retreat agenda includes a training session and a review of county government policies and procedures conducted by the UNC School of Government. The retreat is open to the public and such trainings are typical when new commissioners are seated.

Meanwhile, the board’s next regular meeting is Tuesday, Nov. 18, which will be King’s last as a commissioner. The agenda includes economic incentive deals with the Linamar and PolyLinks corporations as well as conservation easement funding.

Linamar is requesting an increase in cash incentives from the county in order to help it expand local operations. The company wants up to $9 million in county funds in exchange for investing $190 million into its Arden facility, creating a minimum of 400 jobs that pay an average yearly wage of $39,000. PolyLinks is seeking $25,000 from the county in exchange for investing $2.3 million into its plastic part manufacturing plant in Arden. The company would agree to hire 12 new employees at an average yearly wage of $38,000.

In addition, the Land Conservation Advisory Board is recommending that the commissioners approve $118,000 to fund conservation easements on 287 acres across the county. The county money would leverage more than $2 million in grants and donations. The land in consideration includes 41.5 acres at Richmond Hill in Woodfin, an area popular for outdoor recreation.

• Commissioners will hold their retreat Thursday, Nov. 13 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Friday, Nove. 14, from 8 a.m. to noon at 200 College St., in the First Floor Conference Room.

• Commissioners will hold their Nov. 18 meeting in the Commissioner’s chambers, located at 200 College St., suite 326. The meeting begins at 4:30 p.m.

• DeBruhl will be sworn in Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. in the commissioner’s chambers (200 College St., suite 326). The new board will hold its first meeting immediately after at 6:30 p.m. At this writing, an agenda was not available.


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About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning journalist who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

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