Buncombe Commissioners to hear nonprofit, fire chief requests in budget workshop

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.

On Feb. 17, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners postponed its scheduled nonprofit budget workshop following the year’s heaviest downpour of rain, sleet and snow.

That postponed workshop will now be held tomorrow, Tuesday, April 21, at noon.

The agenda, released in February, announced that 45 local nonprofits are scheduled to present budget requests before the board for the 2016 fiscal year. This portion of the meeting will be held at 200 College St., room 326.

In addition to the nonprofit presentations, the Buncombe County Fire Chiefs will present their budget requests for the year, starting at 4:30 p.m.

The combined list of nonprofit requests — which, if approved as-is, would cost the county $4.2 million — must be finalized and approved by the Board before the start of the fiscal year, which begins July 1.

Last year, 48 nonprofits requested funds from Buncombe County, totaling $6.6 million dollars. After a 5-2 vote in July, the commissioners approved a budget, granting $2.3 million to these organizations — just more than one-third of the money requested and less than 1 percent of the $368 million operating budget as a whole.

Asking for the biggest chunk of the budget is the Asheville-Buncombe Community Christian Ministry, the Asheville Area Chamber, the Pack Square Cultural Partnership, Pisgah Legal Services and Homeward Bound of WNC.

These five groups make up about half ($2.2 million) of the $4.2 million in budget requests.

ABCCM is requesting $600,000 for its Transformation Village, an initiative to provide homeless women and their children a stable and healthy living environment while teaching them skills to become self-sufficient. The ministry is also requesting $164,280 for Our Circle, a network of support for under-resourced families, and $50,000 for Community Service Navigators.

Asheville Area Chamber is requesting $500,000 for its Economic Development Coalition, a strategy for economic growth in the Asheville area with five target clusters: advanced manufacturing, science and technology, healthcare, arts and culture and entrepreneurship.

The Pack Square Cultural Partnership is asking for $415,000 for maintenance and operations support. Pisgah Legal Services is requesting $247,500 for the Child and Family Protection and Self-Sufficiency Project. And Homeward Bound of WNC asks for $130,000 for AHOPE Day Center and another $50,000 for Project Rebound, providing substance abuse and mental health treatment.

Following the nonprofit requests, the fire chiefs will present budget requests for their stations, along with any updates that may interest the board or the public. This portion of the meeting begins at 4:30 p.m. in the first floor conference room at 200 College St.

No official action will be taken at either meeting.

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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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