Buncombe Commissioners preview: Green initiatives and ROAP funds

During their Sept. 13 meeting, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will be presented with several reports on its environmental initiatives.

The reports found that since 2005, the county has spent $5,748,495 to permanently protect 3,804 acres of farmland from development. The county money leveraged $26,635,735 in private donations, owner donations and grants. For fiscal year 2012, the county budgeted $1,280,155 to permanently protect 1,719 acres in easements.

The studies also found that county government has increased its carbon footprint over time,  releasing
23,416 metric tons of carbon in to the atmosphere in 2005 and 26,096 metric tons in 2010. That increase was mostly caused by significant expansions of government facility space, with the county operating 1,286,967 square feet of facilities in 2005 and 1,537,808 square feet in 2010. However, the Carbon Footprint & Energy Use Report touts the fact that the county has lowered the BTUs of energy it uses per square foot of facility space in that time, crediting a number of initiatives such as replacing windows at the County Courthouse and updating heating and air conditioning systems.

In other business, the Commissioners will hold a public hearing on a Rural Operating Assistance Program (ROAP) application they plan to submit to the North Carolina Department of Transportation. Mountain Mobility, the county’s transportation system, is eligible for roughly $319,000 in grant funds from the state program.

The board will meet at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 13, in the commissioner’s chambers, located at 30 Valley St. A short pre-meeting review of the agenda will begin at 4:15 p.m.

About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning journalist who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

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