Update: Buncombe County Commissioners meeting on budget requests canceled

The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners has started the budget process for next fiscal year. During its meeting on Tuesday, March 21, 46 nonprofits asked to be a part of that budget.

UPDATE: The Buncombe County Board of Commissioner’s workshop for 9 a.m. tomorrow, Feb. 17, has been canceled due to the potentially dangerous weather expected through the night. The workshop will be rescheduled. Check here for updates on the meeting’s status or follow the Board on Twitter at @BuncombeGov.

Forty-five local nonprofits are scheduled to present budget requests before the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, Feb. 17, for the 2016 fiscal year. The meeting will be held at 9 a.m. rather than 4:30 p.m. to budget time for thorough discussion.

The combined list of 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 one 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 budget requests, the majority of the Board members plan to attend the funeral of Minnie Jones, local civil rights activist and advocate for affordable health care. Jones died early Wednesday, Feb. 11.

Click here for the meeting’s 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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