At City Council’s Nov. 13 budget work session, four department directors spoke about their troubles with obtaining bids on service and construction contracts, recruiting qualified employees and retaining current staff. Burgeoning activity in other parts of the economy, they said, had created stiff competition for workers.
Due to construction cost increases that made rentals infeasible, the Kassinger Development Group proposed a for-sale condo plan. Of 64 total units, 33 would be affordable, with the city providing support through a $1.28 million Housing Trust Fund loan and a $375,000 discount on the land itself.
A Vegas-based developer wants to build a resort in the mountains outside Asheville. To do so, he would need commissioners to amend Buncombe County’s zoning ordinance. Staff in the county planning department have recommended that commissioners reject the changes.
If City Council votes to approve the proposed Charlotte Street Improvement Project, the road would be cut from four car lanes to three, making room for dedicated bike lanes and pedestrian improvements. Should Council approve the plan, bidding for construction is projected to begin this winter, with construction to start next spring or summer and finish by fall.
Robert Pressley, incumbent Buncombe County commissioner for District 3, was the only Republican to win a county race in the hotly contested 2018 midterms. Buncombe County Democratic Party Chair Jeff Rose said the party’s unprecedented midterm voter outreach had helped propel Democratic candidates to wins in nearly all local contests.
In a Nov. 7 press release, interim City Manager Cathy Ball announced that Chief Hooper would be resigning effective Wednesday, Jan. 2 — as well as that Hooper had previously attempted to resign in February. As part of her resignation agreement, Hooper will be paid $118,000 and will provide 75 hours of consulting services “to assist with the transition” of police leadership.
Despite concern that a state law passed in June could stifle early voting numbers, counties in Western North Carolina have seen turnout more consistent with a presidential election than a midterm.
The new facility’s planned retirement is in 2059 — 17 years after Buncombe County government’s 2042 goal of transitioning all homes and businesses to completely renewable energy. Jason Walls, Duke Energy district manager, said his company is committed to helping local governments achieve their goals but that the new plant’s construction is based on forecasts of growing energy needs.
Todd Okolichany, Asheville’s director of planning & urban design, said the city’s Unified Development Ordinance was in need of an extensive and holistic review. While the city has made “Band-Aid edits,” he explained, the last major revision of Asheville’s main development code took place in 1997.
A second campus of the N.C. School of Science and Math is on tap for 2021 in Morganton, and fundraising is underway to assemble the final pieces of the puzzle to bring the plans to life. Montreat College announced a new student loan repayment program, local elected officials came out to oppose all six constitutional amendments on the ballot in the 2018 general election and a major controlled burning training exercise will take place through Friday, Nov. 9 in the area.
Local political action committee Angry Taxpayers sent letters to the home addresses of hundreds of Buncombe County’s roughly 1,400 employees this month, encouraging them to vote for Republican candidates for the Board of Commissioners this year.
Over the protests of Republicans, who felt the allotment was too large and would put a burden on taxpayers, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners approved a multimillion dollar investment in early childhood education on Oct. 30.
Buncombe County commissioners will vote during their regular meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 30, on a fund to boost access to early childhood education.
Rick Daniels, representing Mission, and Sean Devereux, a lawyer for the neighborhood, announced after a lengthy recess that the two parties would continue negotiations outside the appeals board process. However, the residents did not formally withdraw their complaint and could return to the board at a later date.
Jon Creighton, former assistant county manager and planning director for Buncombe County, has admitted guilt to one count of conspiracy in a plea deal entered on Oct. 25.
Michael Waldvogel, an extension associate professor at North Carolina State University who specializes in urban and industrial pests, says Asheville’s booming restaurant scene and ongoing construction create the right conditions for a spike in rodent activity.
After Mayor Esther Manheimer and Council members Keith Young and Brian Haynes shared their intent to reject the project, attorney Wyatt Stevens pulled the building from consideration on behalf of his clients, local hoteliers Pratik Bhakta and Monark Patel.
By Able Allen, Virginia Daffron, David Floyd and Daniel Walton Welcome to Mountain Xpress’ 2018 general election voter guide. We’ve asked pertinent questions of all the local candidates, and now the choice is yours. At Xpress, we believe a well-informed voter considers more than a candidate’s party affiliation, making choices based on a leader’s character, values […]
A Facebook Live forum hosted by Blue Ridge Public Radio and the Mountain Xpress on Wednesday, Oct. 17, offered District 2 candidates Glenda Weinert and Amanda Edwards an opportunity to address issues like affordable housing, opioid abuse, and the omnipresent criminal investigation into former county officials.
The resolution would commit city government to meeting all of its energy needs from 100 percent renewable sources by the end of 2030. A previous version also called for all energy demand in the city to make the renewable transition “as soon as practicable,” but this goal is absent from the language Council will vote to approve.