Commissioners approve garbage rate hike, deny cuts to their own salaries

Here’s a list of some highlights from the June 5 meeting of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners. We’ll have a full report in the June 13 issue of Xpress.

• Commissioners voted 4–1 to allow Waste Pro to raise garbage–pickup rates by 4 percent. In contract with Buncombe County, the company provides pickup services in unincorporated areas; the change will increase the basic monthly rate from $14.20 to $14.77. Company officials told the commissioners they would’ve preferred an 8 percent increase, which would help offset the rising price of fuel and other costs.

• Commissioners voted 3–2 to approve a motion made by Commissioner Carol Peterson to maintain board members’ own salaries at their current levels until at least after the November elections. Commissioner Bill Stanley seconded the measure and Commissioner K. Ray Bailey joined them. Board Chair David Gantt and Holly Jones voted against it. At the board’s last meeting, Jones pitched the idea of lowering commissioner pay to a level she thinks would be more in line with what their counterparts make in other North Carolina counties. When their travel and technology stipends are taken in to account, Buncombe’s commissioners are among the highest paid in the state.

(Mike Fryar, candidate for District 2 in the Commissioner elections, commented on county manager pay. Photo by Max Cooper.)

• The commissioners denied a motion Jones made to lower the amount of time newly hired county employees must wait to receive health insurance benefits to 30 days. They currently must wait 180 days. As written, the budget for the next fiscal year calls for lowering the wait to 90 days — starting Jan. 1 — a year before the county is required to do so by federal law. No commissioners seconded Jones’ motion, so it wasn’t voted on by the board.

• The board held a public hearing on the county’s $337.7 million budget proposal for the 2012-13 fiscal year, which starts July 1. The board will vote on the proposal at its next meeting on June 19.

• The board voted 5–0 to sell a building and 0.49 acres of adjacent county-owned property at 34 Compton Drive to Eliada Homes for $279,650.

• The board voted 5–0 to accept a $5 million state grant to help fund a wastewater pre-treatment system and an additional bio-reactor at the county landfill.

• Commissioners voted 5–0 to approve an application for roughly $333,000 in state Rural Operating Assistance Program grants that would go to Mountain Mobility, the county’s transit system.

(Buncombe County Commissioner Carol Peterson)

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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2 thoughts on “Commissioners approve garbage rate hike, deny cuts to their own salaries

  1. glolady

    Yes… another exciting Buncombe County Commissioners meeting. If this resolution would not have been brought to the attention of the County Attorney… See if you can catch the “TYPO” …………………….. RESOLUTION #____________________
    Whereas, pursuant to Memorandum of Understanding approved by and between
    dated March 20, 2012, The Board of Trustees and the Board of
    Commissioners agreed to jointly make certain final decisions regarding
    construction projects for the College, including the selection, fee and
    approval of architects; final construction contract(s) as permitted by law;
    and approval or denial of change orders in excess of $50,000; and
    WHEREAS, by said Memorandum of Understanding, it was agreed that the County
    would act as agent for the College and be designated as the “owner’s
    representative” in all documents requiring such a designation for
    construction activities; and
    WHEREAS, the parties further agreed that the design of all improvements shall
    conform to the programming and educational needs as identified by the
    College with County participation, subject to budget constraints; and
    WHEREAS, this Board is of the opinion that given the checks and balances in place
    with respect to programming and budget that it would be in the best
    interest of all parties to streamline the approvals under said Memorandum
    of Understanding.
    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Commissioners for the County of
    Buncombe as follows:
    1. That the County Manager, or her designee, is hereby authorized to make
    final decisions and approvals for the Asheville?Buncombe Technical
    Community College construction projects for the College as contemplated
    by the Memorandum of Understanding dated March 20, 2012, including
    the selection, fee and approval of architects; final construction contract(s)
    as permitted by law; and approval or denial of change orders in excess of
    $50,000 on behalf of Buncombe County.
    2. That this resolution be effective upon its adoption.
    ADOPTED this the 5th day of June, 2012.
    _________________________ By: ____________________________
    Kathy Hughes, Clerk David Gantt, Chairman
    Michael C. Frue, County Attorney

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