The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners started 2017 with what will likely be one of its quickest meetings of the year, wrapping up in under 30 minutes on Tuesday, Jan. 3.
Before the meeting officially got underway, Commissioner Mike Fryar was sworn in, an action delayed due to a recount in his contest against Nancy Nehls Nelson.
“It’s a totally different commission, and I think we are going to do a lot of different things together the next four years. I’m proud to be here with all of you,” said Fryar. “All I can do is thank the people in District 2 for coming out and voting and having faith in me.”
After that, commissioners attended to the two agenda items: a report from Mountain Valley Resource, Conservation and Development Council and a few board appointments.
Jessica Hocz, executive director of MVRCDC, gave a brief presentation to commissioners outlining some of the work her environmental advocacy nonprofit is involved with throughout the county. She highlighted efforts like Raising Cane at Owen Middle School, an initiative aimed at providing additional resources for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to harvest cane for art projects.
Hocz also talked about the Ivy River Water Project, which is focused on keeping Weaverville’s watershed clean. In 2016, her organization removed 90 tires and 100 bags of trash, along with other efforts to rid the area of pollution, she said.
Hocz stressed that, other than $6,400 provided by eight counties (each giving $800), her organization is completely fueled by grant money. She also pointed out that the board seat appointed by county commissioners is currently open. Hocz said qualifications are basically, “Someone who knows people and might be able to identify projects tied to resource conservation.”
The county will begin advertising for the vacancy. You can see more about the nonprofit’s work in Buncombe County here.
Next, commissioners made the following board appointments, all approved unanimously:
Metropolitan Sewerage District (MSD) Board — Commissioners Ellen Frost and Robert Pressley
Nursing Home Community Advisory Committee — Nancy Lipscomb
The board of commissioners’ next meeting is Jan. 17.