County manager to present 2024-25 budget

The last time the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners met on May 9, it was facing an almost $14 million spending gap and the possibility that it would have to raise property taxes to fill it.

That possibility will likely be part of County Manager Avril Pinder’s proposed 2024-25 budget she will present  to the commission Tuesday, May 21.

Despite previously making $2.6 million in cuts to projected expenditures, staff presented a budget that included a tax hike of 2.6 cents per $100 of taxable value at its most recent meeting. If a projected .75-cent hike for education is included, owners of a home valued at $400,000 would pay $134 more in property taxes next year.

The education increase would generate only about $4 million more for Asheville City and Buncombe County schools, far less than the $7.3 million they collectively asked for on May 9.

A new fee schedule for county services for next fiscal year also will be unveiled at the meeting.

After Tuesday’s presentation, commissioners and the public will have two more chances to discuss adjustments to the budget, which goes into effect July 1. There will be a public hearing on the proposed budget Tuesday, June 4, with adoption slated for Tuesday, June 18.

In other news

Tuesday’s meeting marks the last step in a six-month process to choose Buncombe County’s new trash service provider for 2025 and beyond.

Commissioners will hold their second reading of a seven-year contract with global waste management company FCC Environmental Services, replacing longtime hauler WastePro.

If approved, county residents will pay $28.65 a month starting in January, compared to $25.16 customers pay WastePro.

Also, at the May 21 meeting, commissioners will consider approving the demolition of two buildings formerly known as Blueberry Village at the corner of N.C. 197 and Paint Fork Road in Barnardsville.

According to a WLOS article and instagram post in 2020, the property once served as an eclectic art studio.

The two parcels have an “extensive code enforcement history related to unpermitted work beginning in 2020,” according to a staff presentation.

Flooding from Tropical Storm Fred also caused the septic system to fail, washing waste into Ivy Creek, according to staff.

The county will use grant money to rebuild the neighboring bridge on Paint Fork Road and restore the creek that runs behind the buildings.

Consent agenda

The consent agenda for the meeting contains eight items, which will be approved as a package unless singled out for separate discussion. Highlights include:

  • A design contract with Davis Civil Solutions for a countywide paving project. If approved, the $35,880 contract will cover design, bid management and construction administration for the milling and repaving of several surface parking lots.
  • A $168,848 contract with Vannoy Construction for pre-construction services for the courthouse renovation project. The project will ultimately consist of replacing plumbing in the courthouse while maintaining normal operations.
  • An increase to the contracted billing rate to the City of Asheville for ADA transportation services provided by Buncombe County starting July 1. Staff proposes increasing the rate from $3.20 per mile to $3.37 mile, payable by the city. The county will continue to cover administration, fuel and capital vehicle maintenance costs associated with the program.

The full agenda and supporting documents for the meeting can be found at this link. There will be a briefing meeting before the regular meeting at 3 p.m. The agenda was not posted as of press time.

In-person public comment will be taken at the start of the regular meeting, which begins at 5 p.m. in Room 326 at 200 College St., Asheville; no voicemail or email comments will be permitted. Both the briefing and the regular meeting will be livestreamed on the county’s Facebook page and be available via YouTube.


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3 thoughts on “County manager to present 2024-25 budget

  1. Nostupid people

    Obviously it’s been time for change ! Get rid of the woke liberals that fallen a stray within our system. It’s time to replace people with commonsense and morals and give love towards our communities!

  2. Marcia

    How about all the money spent on all these directors, coordinators, and managers, as well as the travel these folks take for no productive reason? Hiking taxes to keep nonsense like this is a problem. Where are the results of all these programs? No charts and stats, just look around and show where there is an improvement with the myriad of programs and 6 -figure paid staff.

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