During tonight’s Dec. 7 meeting, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to:
• Approve the allocation of $99.74 million in federal stimulus loans to Ingles Markets. The money will be used to build a new 830,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution center in Black Mountain and a new 80-100,000-square-foot grocery store located at 153 Smokey Park Highway in Asheville. Commissioners stressed that the loans don’t require any county or state money and celebrated the estimated 190 jobs that the expansions will create. Commissioner Holly Jones also expressed gratitude that the new developments will contribute to the county’s tax base.
• Create an Economic Development Coalition of Asheville-Buncombe County that will be charged with creating jobs in the area. Commissioner K. Ray Bailey will serve as its chairman.
• Approve a rezoning request to allow commercial development on a 1.39 acre parcel located at 872 New Leicester Highway. Landowner David Ray said he has a tentative deal with a retail outlet that wants to build on the land.
• Elect Vice Chair Bill Stanley for a third term as Vice Chair and designate him as the county’s representative at the upcoming NC Legislative Goals Conference.
• Amend the county’s animal control ordinance to require pet owners to apply for an “unaltered animal permit” if they chose not to have their animal spayed or neutered.
Here’s the preview of the meeting with more info on the agenda items:
At its Dec. 7 meeting, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners plans to take action on several fronts that are intended help stimulate the local economy. The agenda includes a public hearing on approving $99.74 million in federal stimulus loans to Ingles Markets, creating a new economic development coalition, and considering a rezoning request to allow for commercial development on a parcel of land along New Leicester Highway.
Ingles hopes to use the money to cover the costs of building and equipping a new 830,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution center at its current headquarters in Black Mountain, as well as a new 80-100,000-square-foot grocery store located at 153 Smokey Park Highway in Asheville. The expansions are projected to create about 190 jobs. Ingles currently operates 202 stores throughout the region and boasted a 63 percent jump in its fourth-quarter profits, according to a Nov. 30 report.
The goal of the Economic Development Coalition of Asheville-Buncombe County (EDC) would be to stimulate private sector investment, economic growth and job creation. Once established, the proposal calls for the EDC to develop strategies to encourage manufacturing and other businesses to relocate to Buncombe County as well as determine what the ten biggest challenges are to economic growth in the area. The EDC board would consist of 17 members who are appointed by a wide variety of organizations including the County Commissioners, Asheville City Council, the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, the Asheville Regional Airport Authority and the Manufacturers’ Executive Association.
The rezoning request concerns a 1.39 acre parcel located at 872 New Leicester Highway, just south of the intersection of Silverling Drive. The change from residential to neighborhood service district would allow for commercial development; both the Planning Board and county staff recommend approving the request.
In other business, the board will elect its Vice Chair. The position is largely symbolic, with the office holder responsible for overseeing meetings when the Board Chair is absent. The election is held annually; Bill Stanley has served in the position for the last two years.
The board will meet at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 7, 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.