Federal coronavirus relief funds are set to keep flowing from local governments to Asheville-area nonprofits. A week after the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners doled out about $4.9 million of its own American Rescue Plan Act allotment, Asheville City Council will consider over $11.7 million in ARPA projects Tuesday, May 10.
If fully funded, the batch of projects would represent the city’s largest allocation from its roughly $26.3 million pool of ARPA money. Asheville has previously budgeted nearly $8.4 million from the federal relief, with uses including $3.4 million for an emergency homeless shelter, $2 million to help Homeward Bound of Western North Carolina acquire a Days Inn for permanent supportive housing and $1.6 million to cover lost city parking revenue.
The largest item among those currently seeking cash is a $2 million request from Helpmate to support an emergency shelter for domestic violence survivors. Other substantial requests include nearly $1.3 million to the Mountain Community Capital Fund, $1 million to Pisgah Legal Services and $999,900 each to both Homeward Bound and Asheville-Buncombe Community Christian Ministries.
Assuming all of the requests are funded, the city will have about $6.2 million in ARPA funds left to spend. Federal rules require all of the money to be spent by the end of 2024.
In other news
A conditional rezoning request for the Deaverview Apartments in West Asheville, which Council continued from its April 26 meeting, is back up for consideration. At the request of several members, 82 new apartments that are planned for the site would be dedicated as affordable to those making 60% or less of the area median income ($31,600 for an individual or $45,300 for a family of four) in perpetuity; the affordability duration had initially been set at 30 years.
At the same meeting, the Housing Authority of the City of Asheville — the developer of the Deaverview project — will ask Council for a $1.2 million grant to subsidize the affordable apartments. Funding would come from the $7.4 million in affordable housing bond proceeds remaining from the $25 million pool approved by city voters in 2016. The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners allocated over $935,000 toward the project at its May 3 meeting.
And Council will have the final say on a conditional rezoning request for Redwood Commons, a 70-unit senior living complex proposed for Governors View Road in East Asheville. All apartments will be designated as affordable for at least 30 years for those making 60% of the area median income. Both the Design Review Committee and Planning & Zoning Commission have voted in favor of the project.
Consent agenda and public comment
The consent agenda for the meeting contains 11 items, which will be approved as a package unless singled out for separate discussion. Highlights include the following:
- A resolution accepting a grant of nearly $73,000 from the Dogwood Health Trust to fund a consulting contract with the National Alliance to End Homelessness. According to a staff report, the Washington, D.C.-based organization will “assess community needs, engage with community stakeholders and identify actionable solutions to the complex and critical issue of unsheltered homelessness.”
- A contract amendment authorizing $80,000 in additional spending for GuardOne Security to provide guards at Asheville parking facilities through September. According to a staff report, all of the city’s own security guard positions were vacant as of mid-April, thus creating a need for additional contracted services.
- A resolution backing the N.C. Department of Transportation’s plan to construct pedestrian improvements and a new right-turn lane at the intersection of Interstate 240 and Charlotte Street. Although the roughly $1.8 million project will be funded entirely by NCDOT, department policy requires the city to formally support the work before work can proceed.
Council’s regular meeting will take place at the Harrah’s Cherokee Center – Asheville Banquet Hall, located at 87 Haywood St., starting at 5 p.m. The meeting will also be livestreamed through Asheville’s public engagement hub and on the city’s YouTube channel. Members of the public can also listen live by calling 855-925-2801, meeting code 5616.
In the same location at 2:30 p.m., Council will hold a worksession on the city’s proposal to restructure its advisory boards and commissions. Although no public comment will be permitted, attendance is allowed both in-person and through the electronic means outlined on Asheville’s public engagement hub.
Members of the public who wish to speak during the regular meeting must attend in person and sign up at the door; no live remote comment will be permitted. Those wanting to make a slide or PowerPoint presentation at the meeting must submit their materials to City Clerk Maggie Burleson at MBurleson@AshevilleNC.gov by noon Monday, May 9.
Prerecorded voicemail messages can also be left at 855-925-2801, meeting code 5616; written comments can be sent to AshevilleCityCouncilMay102022@PublicInput.com until 9 a.m. May 10. General comments for City Council can be sent at any time to AshevilleNCCouncil@AshevilleNC.gov.
The full meeting agenda and supporting documents can be found here.