More than two years have passed since Asheville City Council last held a regular meeting at City Hall. Since April 2020, its deliberations have shifted from virtual to in-person in the Banquet Hall at Harrah’s Cherokee Center – Asheville in response to changing COVID-19 infection rates. But starting Tuesday, June 28, Council will once again meet for city business in the historic art deco building.
Council members will gather in their chambers on the second floor of City Hall, located at 70 Court Plaza, starting at 5 p.m. A city press release states that while masks are not required in city buildings, members of the public are encouraged to wear them.
The meeting will also be carried live on Charter/Spectrum Channel 193 and 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 4592.
Those who wish to speak during the meeting must attend in person and sign up at the door. No live remote comment will be permitted.
Prerecorded voicemail messages can also be left at 855-925-2801, meeting code 4592; written comments can be sent to AshevilleCityCouncilJune282022@PublicInput.com until 9 a.m. June 28. General comments for City Council can be sent at any time to AshevilleNCCouncil@AshevilleNC.gov.
In other news
Council will vote on whether to adopt the city’s fiscal year 2022-23 annual operating budget, having conducted a public hearing on the issue earlier this month. No changes to the recommended budget have been made since the hearing took place.
Council will also consider a conditional zoning that would allow for the construction of 77 residential units along Sweeten Creek Road designated as affordable for individuals and families earning between 30%-80% of the area median income (between $16,900-$45,000 for an individual and $27,750-$64,250 for a family of four).
The consent agenda for the meeting contains nine items, which will be approved as a package unless singled out for separate discussion. Highlights include the following:
- A resolution authorizing City Manager Debra Campbell to accept up to $375,000 from the Dogwood Health Trust to fund a staff position and other assistance for two years. The new hire will be asked to “develop a strategic response to the opioid epidemic” and direct the more than $1.5 million the city will receive through the National Opioid Settlement.
- A resolution authorizing Campbell to execute an contract of up to $345,000 with Raftelis Financial Consultants for the Stormwater Program Analysis and Fee Study. The study will review the city’s current stormwater program and future stormwater needs to determine needed levels of service and fee adjustments.
- A resolution increasing a contract with Responder Support Services by $100,000, to a total of $396,000, for behavioral health services for employees of Asheville’s fire and police departments. The amendment will increase availability of onsite mental health services from two to four days per week to help support public safety workers and their families, who are “dealing with trauma on a daily basis.”
The full meeting agenda and supporting documents can be found here.