County to consider bonds to pay for school projects

FINDING FUNDING: During its Feb. 20 meeting, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will consider issuing limited obligation bonds to finance $60 million in projects, including major renovations at Asheville High School. Photo courtesy of Asheville City Schools

Seeking a way to pay for about $60 million worth of projects that have been approved over the past few years, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will consider issuing limited obligation bonds during its meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 20.

Commissioners approved about $46.7 million for major renovations at Asheville High School, Community High School and Montford North Star Academy. This money was also allocated to help pay for roofing and HVAC replacements at Ira B. Jones Elementary School, an addition at Community High School and LED retrofits for schools in both the Buncombe County Schools and Asheville City Schools systems. The board has also approved about $13.7 million for miscellaneous projects.

The item was introduced at the commission’s Feb. 6 meeting (see “County raises fees for ambulance service“).

The resolution can be read here.

A question of rezoning

The board will also conduct a public hearing on a rezoning request from the owner of Zen Tubing to change a 4-acre parcel at 1648 Brevard Road from residential low-density to commercial service district. County staff and members of the county Planning Board — in a 4-3 vote during a meeting on Jan. 22 — recommended that the Board of Commissioners deny the request.

The company uses the property on a seasonal basis and wants to rezone the property so it can seasonally locate a shipping container on the land to act as a bar for alcohol sales, according to an analysis put together by the county’s department of Planning and Development.

The property is located entirely in a FEMA-designated floodway, and the properties to the west, east and south are all vacant and zoned residential low-density. The analysis also says the property contains a small amount of steep land.

“Staff’s main concerns with this rezoning request are that it represents a potential ‘spot zoning,’ and that the alcohol sales would represent an intensification of a commercial use completely surrounded by a rural undeveloped area zoned residentially,” the analysis states. 

Read more about the public hearing here.

In other business

Commissioners will also hear an update on the funding for a proposed redevelopment of Lee Walker Heights, Asheville’s oldest public housing development. During a meeting in June 2017, the county promised $4.2 million to the redevelopment of the property (see “County pledges $4.2M to Lee Walker Heights, aims for 100% renewable energy”). Asheville City Council set aside $4.2 million for the project in April 2016 (see “City Council commits $4.2 million to redevelopment of Lee Walker Heights”).

North Carolina Rep. Chuck McGrady, R-Henderson County, will also deliver a presentation.

The Board of Commissioners meeting will occur at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20 in room 326 at 200 College St. in downtown Asheville.

To see the agenda and supplementary materials, click here.

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

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About David Floyd
David Floyd is the Buncombe County reporter for the Mountain Xpress. He previously worked as a general-assignment reporter for the Johnson City Press. Email him at dfloyd@mountainx.com.

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7 thoughts on “County to consider bonds to pay for school projects

    • Lulz

      Leftist need to keep the schools going to keep the votes coming in. Results don’t matter because in their minds the money will always continue to come in. But run a few months late on your property taxes and the county sends out threats of taking your home. And they are threats lulz.

    • hauntedheadnc

      Way to go, Mr. Caudle! You’ve outdone yourself! You’ve gone from claiming that public schools are screaming hell pits that suck the souls out of children to claiming the same for ALL (tee hee) schools!

      How soon before you start advocating that parents (unless they’re dirty liberals of course) just turn their children loose in the woods every weekday from 8am to 3pm?

  1. jason

    I’ve got a good idea to get some money for the schools. Combine Buncombe County and Asheville City Schools into ONE SYSTEM and quit screwing taxpayers by supporting two systems.

    • Lulz

      LOL that’s too easy of a solution but what would happen to all the extra fat that is administration and support? After all teacher pay, or the lack there of, isn’t because of the having no money. It’s due to the waste of having as you said two systems and the whole host of people that are involved in the bureaucracy. Which is nothing more than welfare lulz.

    • Enlightened Enigma

      Dumbcombe Co is one of only 6 counties in NC to operate antiquated dual school systems. How many MILLION$$$ could taxpayers SAVE with school system consolidation?

      Thanks to Jason above for seeing reality. It seems the city school operators are nothing but elitist, exclusive racist types for wanting to preserve their cesspool of exclusion.

      Email Mark Johnson the NC School Super in Rawliegh and ask him WHAT he is doing to correct this lack of diversity and equality in our county ? …

    • Lulz

      http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/02/21/retired-nyc-sanitation-worker-makes-285k-year-from-pension.html

      And that’s why big leftism leads to big ruin. LOL it’s true, oh it’s true. Eventually they run out of other peoples money. And when the county brags about employee retention and all the freebies it gives to them, in all reality it means less money for the rest of us. NYC is obviously in the lead to bankruptcy but little ‘ol Buncombe is going down the same path. Maybe not as fast but the result will be the same.

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