Commissioners preview: Overlooks and referendums

At its Aug. 16 meeting, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will consider steps to support the construction of a new overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and hold a referendum on a 0.25 percent sales-tax increase.

As the Blue Ridge Parkway celebrates the 75th year, administrators are considering improvements, including adding a parking area to help access the section of the Mountains to Sea Trail that runs along the the road in Buncombe County. The commissioners will vote on a resolution to urge Parkway administrators to pair any new parking area with an overlook that showcases views of Asheville. The goal would be to lure tourists who are traveling along the parkway in to town to spend money at local businesses.

The commissioners have already declared their support for the sales-tax referendum; if passed, the Aug. 16 resolution will direct the Buncombe County Board of Elections to put it on the Nov. 8 ballot. If voters endorse the measure and it becomes law, all funds generated from the increase would go toward building improvements at A-B Tech. County Manager Wanda Greene estimates it would raise $6 million to $7 million a year.

The board will meet at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 16, in the commissioners’ chambers, located at 30 Valley St. A short pre-meeting review of the agenda will begin at 4:15 p.m.

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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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