City could create audit committee

AUDIT CONNECTION: At its Dec. 19 meeting, Asheville City Council plans to possibly pave the way for a new audit committee to serve as a conduit among internal and external auditors and Council. Photo by Carolyn Morrisroe

ASHEVILLE — The agenda for the Dec. 19 Asheville City Council meeting appears at first glance to be light as freshly fallen snow, but digging deeper reveals agenda items with the heft of tightly packed snowballs.

No public hearings are scheduled for the meeting, but under “new business,” the city of Asheville will mull the idea of minting an audit committee. The newly created committee would review the city’s internal audit reports and financial statements audit and share with City Council any audit-related recommendations and issues. According to a staff report by the city’s internal auditor, Patricia Rosenberg, the committee would “provide an open avenue of communication between internal audit, the external auditors and City Council.”

Five members would sit on the proposed audit committee: one Council member and four outside members appointed by City Council. The resolution creating the committee states that each member must have a minimum of five years of experience in the management of accounting, finance or auditing, and there must be at least two certified public accountants or certified internal auditors serving on the committee.

Consent agenda

While a permanent plan is being developed for the vacant lot at 68 Haywood St., the city has been allowing pop-up programming on the site. Council will consider a proposal to establish a mobile food vending program that would simplify administrative fees and processes for food trucks. Under the plan, food truck vendors could apply for a one-time, one-year permit for $50, and up to four vendors could operate between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. on the site when no other outdoor events are occurring. Spaces for vendors would be given on a first-come, first-served basis.

As part of the city’s stated commitment to affordable housing, it will consider adopting guidelines and requirements that would apply to any developer looking to build on the city-owned Cedar Hill property. The city owns two contiguous properties at 411 Deaverview Road and 18 Pisgah View Road, a total of 16 acres. A staff report for the Dec. 19 meeting states the location is near public transit and and schools, making it ideal for affordable housing. The report outlines guiding principles and requirements that would be used in evaluating requests for qualifications, including a minimum of 150 units, of which at least 50 percent must be designated affordable.

Council will consider assignments of City Council members to boards and committees, including appointing Vijay Kapoor to the HUB Community Economic Development Alliance, reappointing Gwen Wisler to the Metropolitan Sewerage District board of directors, and appointing Julie Mayfield to the Asheville Area Riverfront Redevelopment Commission.

In October, the city voted to participate in Duke Energy’s Small Business Energy Saver Program to buy and install energy-efficient lighting in two fire stations. An item on the consent agenda asks to increase the contracted amount to $15,000 from the originally allotted $8,511 to account for updated pricing from the contractor.

Asheville City Council will consider a resolution endorsing Buncombe County’s Pathway to Prevention, a long-term plan to prevent domestic violence, sexual violence and child maltreatment.

A proposal on the consent agenda would let the city apply to the French Broad River Metropolitan Planning Organization for $48,000 for automated equipment to count pedestrian and bike traffic on the city’s new greenways. The city would provide a match of $12,000, which would be part of the fiscal year 2019 budget.

Council will decide whether to award a contract to Greenlight Electric Inc. of Weaverville for four traffic lights as part of the city’s general obligation bond projects. Greenlight Electric was the lowest bidder of three, proposing $217,565 for the project to place stoplights along Patton Avenue.

The city plans upgrades to Jake Rusher Park, and a consent agenda item would award a contract for $133,052 to ADC Engineering for design services for the bond-funded project.

Public comment

Council will hear comment from members of the public on items not previously discussed on Council’s agenda.

Asheville City Council meets at 5 p.m. in Council chambers on the second floor of City Hall at 70 Court Plaza, Asheville. The full meeting agenda and supporting documents can be found here.


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About Carolyn Morrisroe
Carolyn Morrisroe served as news editor and reporter at Mountain Xpress. Follow me @CarolynMorrisro

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2 thoughts on “City could create audit committee

  1. Alan Ditmore

    150 is not nearly enough units, try 750, for which keeping the affordability requirement of 75 units would make 10%. However it is a waste to make shiny new units affordable since anything new is inherently a luxury, so have the affordability requirement kick in only after 5 years, by which time the shine should have worn off, and the formaldehyde too. Affordability in Asheville is a TOTAL SUPPLY CRISIS WHICH WILL TAKE AT LEAST 50,000 NEW UNITS TO FIX, but they might as well be market rate since the objective is to use crowding to make the existing, neighboring units affordable, at the expense of the neighbors, not the brand new units.

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