Commissioners allocate lottery funds to help pay teacher salaries

Here are the actions taken by the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners at their Oct. 26 meeting, as well as a summary of reports dispatched by Xpress reporter Jake Frankel during the short session.

Commissioners called for a Nov. 16 public hearing on developer Frontier Syndicate’s request an economic-incentives package for Montford Commons. Commissioner Carol Peterson noted that the county first needed to have a workforce-housing policy. The board directed staff to draft that policy.

By a unanimous 5-0 vote, Commissioners approved expanding a ban on alcohol consumption on county property. In addition to county parks, the ban will now include all county property. But it the ban be waived if the proper permits are acquired.

Commissioners also voted to remove historic-landmark designations from the Lanning House and Richmond Hill Inn, both of which have been badly damaged by fire in recent years.

And the board allocated $1.2 million in state lottery funds to help pay Buncombe County teacher salaries.

3:57 p.m. Buncombe County Commissioner meeting starts soon. Follow @JakeFrankel and   for live reports (meeting preview at

4:31 p.m. Buncombe County Board of Commissioners starts now. Follow @ at   or go here:

4:31 p.m. Things are about to get going here at the commissioners’ chambers. For more on meeting the agenda:

4:39 p.m. Commissioner Bill Stanley starts things off with a joke about not wanting to restrict consumption of alcohol on county owned property.

4:41 p.m. I’ve heard stories of Stanley’s legendary drinking skills but [have] yet to witness them myself (JFrankel).

4:43 p.m. Commissioners repeal “Historic Landmark” designations from the John A. Lanning House and the Richmond Hill House 5-0 (no discussion).

4:44 p.m. Both sites were severely damaged in fires in recent years, and the Historic Resources Commission recommended the change

4:53 p.m. Board moves to allocate $1.2 million in 2010 education lottery funds to help pay the salaries of Buncombe County School teachers.

4:55 p.m. Board chair David Gantt: We’ve got to take care of our teachers.

5:08 p.m. Commissioners consider economic incentives for the Montford Commons workforce housing development on Hill Street.

5:09 p.m. Commissioner Carol Peterson: The project sounds good, but we need a comprehensive workforce housing policy before we can act.

5:12 p.m. Developer seeks property tax breaks from the county, estimated at $1.8 million, to be used to offset infrastructure costs.

5:13 p.m. Developer: This is the kind of housing Asheville needs. Montford Neighborhood Association supports it.

5:15 p.m. Developer: There’s an open window right now, but it’s not staying open very long. Project won’t succeed without your support.

5:17 p.m. The City of Asheville is considering an incentive grant for the project tonight as well.

5:20 p.m. Board asks county staff to draft workforce housing policy and votes to hold public hearing on economic incentives in three weeks.

5:22 p.m. Gantt: We want this to happen, but we need a policy. We need to do it the right way.

5:32 p.m. Board passes a motion to expand alcohol-consumption ban to include all county property, not just parks (5-0).

5:33 p.m. Alcohol consumption will still be allowed if proper permits are secured.

5:40 p.m. During the public hearing, Don Yelton and Jerry Rice raise concerns about discrimination over who qualifies for workforce housing.

5:43 p.m. Meeting adjourned. Next Board of Commissioners meeting is Nov. 2 at 4:30. (Stay strong over there at City Council @DavidForbes !)


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About Margaret Williams
Editor Margaret Williams first wrote for Xpress in 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987 and completed her Masters of Liberal Arts & Sciences from UNC-Asheville in 2016. Follow me @mvwilliams

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