Buncombe County Commissioners preview: Budget hearings and homelessness

This week’s June 1 meeting of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will feature a public hearing on the county’s proposed $327 million budget for FY 2011 (effective July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011). The $252 million general fund portion of the proposed budget reflects a 1.1 percent increase in spending compared with last year. To avoid raising taxes, the plan calls for taking $6.9 million out of the county’s fund balance.

Calling it “basically a flat budget” when she unveiled the plan on May 18, County Manager Wanda Greene emphasized that any increases in funding are directed toward such core areas as education, human services and public safety. Though both local school systems would be getting significantly less than they requested, she noted that the Buncombe County Schools’ allocation is up $169,000 from last year, and the Asheville City Schools would receive a $62,000 boost.

At the May 18 meeting, Board Chair David Gantt, Vice Chair Bill Stanley and commissioner Carol Peterson all expressed strong support for the plan.

In other business, Asheville-Buncombe Homeless Initiative Coordinator Amy Sawyer plans to present the commission with an update on the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program (HPRP).

An outgrowth of the county and city’s 10-year Plan to End Homelessness, the program invests resources into public-private partnerships that provide housing relocation and stabilization for homeless people and at-risk households.

The board will meet at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 1, 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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