Asheville City Council votes to move forward with an RFP for design services for city-owned property on Haywood Street and Page Avenue on March 28. Photo by Virginia Daffron

Council vote could mark new phase in struggle over ‘Pit of Despair’

Asheville City Council voted unanimously to accept the recommendations presented by a volunteer citizen panel as the basis for soliciting design services on on Tuesday, March 28. But the community vision presented by the Haywood Street Advisory Team leaves a lot of room for interpretation — and possibly for future controversy about the long-debated best uses for the site.

Funding applicants present to the Housing and Community Development Committee on March 24. Photo by Kari Barrows

City Council subcommitt­ee reviews nonprofit funding requests

Nonprofit organizations made their best pitch to City Council’s Housing and Community Development Committee for a share of federal and city funds for the 2017-18 fiscal year at a day-long meeting on Friday, March 24. Some left happy, while others expressed dissatisfaction with a process they said favored established city partners who had received funding in prior years.

City Council will hear a report on the conclusions of a community visioning process as the next step on Haywood Street parcels. Photo by Virginia Daffron

Di-vision? City Council to hear report on Haywood Street property on March 28

Signs of spring: the city considers its budget for the upcoming fiscal year, and citizens amass their forces to resume the fight over the fate of city-owned land on Haywood Street and Page Avenue. Asheville City Council will meet on Tuesday, March 28 to consider these and other matters. The budget meeting will take place at 3 p.m. in Council Chambers, with the formal meeting commencing at 5 p.m.

OTTER-LY ENGAGING: The Nature Center’s otter inhabitants draw kids and adults alike to watch their antics, which can be playful, cuddly and athletic, all in the space of a few minutes. Photo courtesy of the WNC Nature Center

The incredible shrinking subsidy: WNC Nature Center achieves 3-year reduction goal in one year

When the WNC Nature Center learned the city of Asheville’s subsidy for the facility would shrink by more than half over three years, the environmental education attraction wasn’t immediately sure how it would make up the funding shortfall. But it didn’t take long to figure it out: the Nature Center met the three-year goal in only one year. The attraction is expanding to meet demand, and visitation is setting new records nearly every month.