Asheville City Council preview: Frying pans and fires edition

At tonight’s Asheville City Council meeting, two extremely controversial topics — a vote on a Business Improvement District and breaking a budget deadlock — are before the city’s elected leaders. If that wasn’t enough, there are also votes on incentives for a south Asheville housing development and New Belgium’s brewery.

Controversy over the BID has built over recent weeks, and opponents plan a protest outside City Hall before the meeting. Proponents will also show up to make their case for the special tax district. While Council is set to vote on the issue, it’s possible that the decision may be delayed.

At a special budget work session last week, Council members failed to reach a consensus on what level of raise they could afford to give employees in this year’s budget. The clock is ticking, however, as the city must pass a budget by July 1. Vice Mayor Esther Manheimer is out of town on a family vacation, raising the possibility of another deadlock unless Council can reach a compromise.

Two incentives deals are also on the agenda: One is for an 176-unit development — mostly affordable and workforce housing — on Glenn Bridge Road in south Asheville, for over $500,000 in tax incentives over five years, and the other is for $3.5 million in incentives and infrastructure improvements for the proposed New Belgium brewery in the River Arts District.

Asheville City Council meets at 5 p.m., June 12, in Council’s chambers on the second floor of City Hall.


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