Asheville City Council preview: April 16 meeting

A budget preview highlights the City Council’s next work session, but there’s plenty of other relatively high-profile fare on the agenda as well.

First, staff will present a brief update on current-year budget trends as of the end of February, including an update on the projected fund balance. Staff will also provide a preview of the fiscal year 2008-09 budget.

Staff will discuss with Council the impact that the slowing economy has had on revenue growth and also highlight how inflation in key areas, such as health care, fuel and materials, has affected the expenditure budget. Staff will outline some of the key budget-balancing strategies that the city is pursuing to effectively manage the budget crunch created by the slowdown in revenue growth and inflation in expenditures.

In addition to all that, Council will also consider changes to the way it approves co-sponsored events with outside entities. Under a proposal to be put forth, the city might require more paperwork to better determine the true costs of co-sponsorships. The city is on the hook for $245,500 this year in in-kind services and lost permit-fee funds, and is looking for ways to reduce its costs while still lending a hand to events that are beneficial to the city and its residents.

Council also will: Take another look at suggested changes to zoning along Merrimon Avenue to guide future growth on that main thoroughfare; look at ways to streamline the Unified Development Ordinance; hear a stormwater-policy report; receive an update on various requests for proposals for development of a handful of city-owned properties; begin to finalize a list of priorities for consideration in the next session of the state legislature; hear a report from Mayor Terry Bellamy on community meetings; and consider applicants for a handful of city boards and commissions.

For the complete agenda and documents, click here.

The nonvoting work session is open to the public and will begin at 3 p.m. in Council chambers on the second floor of City Hall. The meeting can also be viewed live on Charter Cable channel 11.

— Hal L. Millard, staff writer

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