Beyond recruiting new companies such as Haakon Industries and Fox Factory, the Asheville-Buncombe County Economic Development Coalition supported workforce development and local startups during fiscal year 2018-19. The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners learned about the return on its $350,000 EDC investment at an Aug. 20 meeting.
The $100,000 report, commissioned from Massachusetts-based consultants The Cadmus Group, finds that local government action will be insufficient for Asheville and Buncombe County to run operations entirely on renewable energy by their goal date of 2030 without the purchase of renewable energy certificates or significant state-level regulatory changes.
Board chair Brownie Newman, Vice Chair Jasmine Beach-Ferarra and member Amanda Edwards have placed a resolution endorsing the Sheriff’s Office’s use of MAT on the commission’s agenda for Tuesday, Aug. 20. The treatment is currently offered to the jail’s pregnant female inmates, but Buncombe officials hope to expand its availability to all incarcerated individuals.
A healthy crowd turned out to mingle with local and regional elected officials at the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce’s 14th annual elected officials reception.
“There’s not a simple solution,” says Sage Turner, who chairs both the Downtown Commission and its Parking and Transportation Committee. “The reality is, at peak hours when everyone wants to be downtown, there is just not enough parking.”
Civil Service Board Chair Carol Goins voted against her colleagues in a 4-1 decision finding that former Asheville Police Department Capt. Mark Byrd’s firing by former Chief Tammy Hooper was not justified and ordering the city to reach “a just conclusion of the matter.” The board’s reasons for that decision were discussed during its first closed session in at least three years.
Buncombe County District Attorney provided a statement via Twitter on the Aug. 9 guilty plea of former Asheville Police Officer Christopher Hickman in the Aug. 25, 2017, beating of Asheville resident Johnnie Rush.
“I wouldn’t even call this a hotel project. I mean, yes, it is leaning more towards hotel than residential, but we are getting affordable housing downtown,” said commission member Joe Archibald. The project as approved includes 137 hotel rooms and 37 residential units, 11 of which are reserved for low-income households or local artists.
Republicans Mike Fryar and Robert Pressley, as well as Democrats Amanda Edwards and Al Whitesides, stood against the 1.05-acre rezoning, while Democrats Brownie Newman and Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, along with Republican Joe Belcher, gave their approval. The county planning board had recommended against the proposal, citing concerns over steep slope development.
In a presentation at the Aug. 6 pre-meeting of the Board of Commissioners, Director of Intergovernmental Projects Tim Love said that the county misses out on roughly $1,600 of federal funding annually for every resident who goes uncounted. Buncombe is aiming to increase its census participation by roughly 10,000 residents over the 2010 effort and reach an 80% participation rate.
Last October, the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality placed stricter controls on what outside materials MSD could accept, thus barring the plant from taking Asheville’s treatment residuals. The city’s current plan is to landfill the sludge in Buncombe County and Concord, N.C. — at over 2 1/2 times the cost of its previous disposal arrangement.
Habitat plans to use the money to provide down payment assistance for 38 affordable housing units at its proposed Old Haywood Road neighborhood in West Asheville. Households earning 80% or less of the area median income ($52,800 for a family of four) would receive $20,000 toward a home purchase.
City Attorney Brad Branham sat down with Xpress to discuss the legal challenges surrounding affordable housing, expanding transit and more.
The Tourism Development Authority discusses the proposed hotel moratorium during a July 31 board meeting.
The board tagged a higher overall population, greater burdens associated with chronic health conditions and obesity, growing racial gaps in academic achievement, a rising jail population, loss of farmland, higher housing costs and increased public health care spending as high-certainty, high-impact trends.
Local elected officials say they want Asheville and Buncombe County to be considered a breastfeeding-friendly community to boost lifelong health for residents, but does that intention line up with today’s reality for nursing moms?