Council to meet, hold first 2017-18 budget work session, on March 14

Asheville city seal

City Council’s agenda looks light for its formal meeting of March 14, but the officials won’t get off extra-easy: they have a budget work session at 3 p.m. in the first floor conference room at City Hall. That session will focus on setting policy priorities for the 2017-18 fiscal year budget and the next update of the city’s five-year capital plan.

At 5 p.m., Council will first consider a five-item consent agenda. One interesting tidbit concerns the proposed sale of air rights to MRK 68 Patton Avenue LLC for the development of the former Bank of America building on Pritchard Park as “The Parisian,” a boutique hotel. The back side of the building abuts Commerce Street, and existing building columns encroach on about 16 square feet of city-owned land. At the third level and above, the developer proposes to build balconies that also encroach into the city’s air space along Commerce Street. The developer has bid $6,628 for about 603 square feet of air rights; Council will vote on advertising for higher bids for the air rights.

The hotel was approved by the city’s Planning & Zoning Commission on Feb. 1.

Council will receive in written form a set of recommendations for updates to Council’s strategic priorities workplan based on discussion at Council’s Feb. 17 planning retreat.

Council will hold a public hearing to consider the permanent closure of an unnamed alley between 7 and 19 Austin Ave.

Council will vote on proposed changes to fees and charges for the 2017-18 fiscal year. A water fee increase would result in $4.86 of new fees for the average single-family ratepayer per year. A stormwater fee increase would result in an average $2.64 annual increase for the owner of a 2,001- to 4,000-square-foot residence.

The two increases will generate an estimated $1.5 million in additional revenues, which will be split among the general, water, stormwater, transit, parking and U.S. Cellular Center funds.

Council will discuss appointing a new member to the Homeless Initiative Advisory Committee. The vacant seat is reserved for someone who is currently experiencing homelessness, or who formerly did.

Asheville City Council meets at 5 p.m. in Council chambers on the second floor of City Hall at 70 Court Plaza, Asheville. The full meeting agenda and supporting documents can be found here.


For more of the latest city and county news check out Xpress’ Buncombe Beat.


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About Virginia Daffron
Managing editor, lover of mountains, native of WNC. Follow me @virginiadaffron

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