Buncombe Commissioners to discuss economic incentives, public school needs

Nonprofit agencies will make their case for funding from Buncombe County's upcoming budget for Fiscal Year 2018. A total of 46 nonprofits are asking for an aggregate of almost $11 million.

At the Tuesday, Feb. 2 Buncombe County Board of Commissioners meeting, the Board will consider an economic development incentive for Hi-Wire Brewing — an item that was dropped from the January agenda, facility needs surveys for both Asheville City Schools and Buncombe County Schools, and a zoning request east of Black Mountain.

Hi-Wire Brewing incentive

In 2014, Buncombe County agreed to grant Hi-Wire Brewing $24,341 under the conditions that the company expand its operations and create new jobs paying an average wage of $32,200 per year.

Hi-Wire did, in fact, create 12 new jobs in the county, paying the average wage specified in the incentive. These new jobs will have a direct effect on the community of more than $430,000 per year.

Hi-Wire’s expansion not only increases the county’s property tax revenues, it “produces revenue for local businesses and the county due to the employment of individuals and the spending by Hi-Wire and those new employees, which will provide further economic benefits to the county and local businesses,” reads the resolution.

The Board will vote on appropriating $21,906 from the general fund to grant Hi-Wire to ensure the company reaches its promised levels of investment and job creation.

Initially appearing on the Jan. 2 meeting agenda, the Commissioners agreed to postpone this item pending further information.

Black Mountain rezoning

The First Citizens Bank and Trust has requested a R-1 to R-2 rezoning of the property formerly occupied by the Madison Inn, at 15 Dixon Drive, east of Black Mountain.

Though the property is surrounded by R-1 residential zoning, the strictest of the residential zones, both the county Planning Board and county staff recommended the request be approved.

The rezoning analysis from the Planning Board reads: “The subject property is located between Dixon Drive and Florida Avenue and is situated within a residential neighborhood to the south of the Ridgecrest Conference Center and Interstate 40. … The subject parcel contains an existing structure that was built in 1959 and continuously operated as a 10-unit motel and restaurant. The motel/restaurant use of the property abruptly ceased operation in July 2014 due to foreclosure.

“Because the structure was originally constructed as a motel and restaurant, it is materially different in size, scale and building type than the rest of the surrounding neighborhood; however, it has co-existed with the surrounding neighborhood since 1959,” the report reads. “The use of the property as a motel existed well before the property was initially zoned R-1 in 2009. The current property owner is seeking to utilize the property as a bed and breakfast, which is reviewed as a conditional use permit in the R-2 zoning district. The use of the property for a bed and breakfast (rather than a motel and restaurant) will limit the number of allowable guests and provide a more compatible fit with the surrounding neighborhood.

“The proposed map amendment would not be detrimental to the owners, adjacent neighbors, and surrounding community as it meets a number of goals as identified in the Buncombe County Comprehensive Land Use Plan Update and adaptively reuses an existing structure that was built for the specific purpose of a lodging facility.”

Family Justice Center capital projects ordinance

Commissioners will then consider allocating $30,250 in sponsorship funds to be received from Buncombe County Service Foundation in support of renovation costs for the Family Justice Center.

“Buncombe County’s Family Justice Center will bring together a range of services under one roof: law enforcement, governmental agencies, and nonprofits to provide comprehensive services to adult victims of domestic and sexual violence,” reads the agenda item information sheet. “The FJC will use the ‘safe place’ or ‘den’ model where the victim is invited to a safe, comfortable room and representatives from the agencies come to them. In addition,
children will have a separate space that is safe and welcoming. Buncombe County Service Foundation (the nonprofit partner organization for Buncombe County Government) has received sponsorship funds to support the renovation cost for the Family Justice Center.”

Buncombe County Schools needs survey

On Thursday, Jan. 14, the Buncombe County Board of Education approved a five-year North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Facility Needs Survey, which must be approved by the county before submitting to the state.

“The report is a snapshot of the current membership and capacity at each school and projects membership and capacity over the next 10 years,” wrote Director of Facilities Tim Fierle in a memo. “In addition, the survey identifies and budgets capital improvement needs for current to five years and six to ten years out. Finally, NCDPI gathers information about each building on campuses, their condition, accessibility and energy usage. This detailed information is compiled by NCDPI for statewide reports.

“According to NCDPI projections, the Buncombe County School System will see a slight increase in membership over the 10-year timeframe,” the memo continues. “Costs for large capital improvement projects ($100,000 and above) amount to $56,632,684 in years 0-5 and $32.846.159 in years 6-10. This does not include regular maintenance items typically funded Capital Outlay yearly process. These capital improvement costs align closely with our long-range planning projects.”

Click here for a spreadsheet (begins page three) listing all data from Buncombe County Schools.

Asheville City Schools needs survey

Similarly, Asheville City Schools must complete a facility needs survey to submit to the NCDPI.

According to the city schools’ survey, in the next five years, the plan is to renovate Hall Fletcher, Claxton, Ira B. Jones and Vance Elementary schools, to renovate Asheville High and to replace Isaac Dickson Elementary and Asheville Middle with new schools. This will increase the capacity of these schools from 6,200 to 6,876 — though current total enrollment sits at 4,264.

Totals for renovations and construction over the next five years are expected to exceed $67 million.

Click here to view the full spreadsheet for Asheville City Schools’ analysis.

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 2, at 4:30 p.m. on the third floor 200 College St., downtown Asheville. Click here to view the full agenda.


About Hayley Benton
Current freelance journalist and artist. Former culture/entertainment reporter at the Asheville Citizen-Times and former news reporter at Mountain Xpress. Also a coffee drinker, bad photographer, teller of stupid jokes and maker-upper of words. I can be reached at hayleyebenton [at] gmail.com. Follow me @HayleyTweeet

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3 thoughts on “Buncombe Commissioners to discuss economic incentives, public school needs

  1. Yep

    WHEN are the CITY and COUNTY screwls going to consolidate ‘for the children’ ??? I heard a WAVL lieberal progressive say that it’s because the county screwl parents’ didn’t want ‘diversity’ … huh, say whut ??? Leave it to a libtard to have a completely stupid view with zero knowledge of facts… So PRESSURE city council and the commissioners to bring Buncombe screwls into the new century NOW and let’s SAVE MILLIONS OF $$$ ! ! !

    • boatrocker

      Very please you will translate your message into Standard American English for a magazine website published in the big United States of America where the English is the main language for speaking to.

      I am a recent arrival from the republic of Latveria and I do not understand your posts meanings. I want to learn more of the freedom. I like your thinkings too yes in Latveria we do not like the diverse too, We want one way and that is dollars for buying guns and Netflixes accounts and watching funny boy Americans in football tight pants making the bank!

      I love the America and the Donald Trump. He is a very strong leader. He does not back down like the Tom Petty the inventor of rock and rolls.
      In my country, we have the respect for the strong leaders who are strong like a he man .

      What is screwel? Please define.
      What is lieberal? Please define.
      What is libtard? Please define.

      From your posts, do you speak more than one language? I can email to you the APP for English to Latverian. You sound from out of the country too . brother!
      Why are certain words capitalized in the middle of sentences? Do the American females find that attractiveness? sexy sexy

      I want to you to be the best friend for me. Let us learn the English together and speak over tea.

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