Duke Energy Lake Julian plant

City, county debut results of renewable energy planning

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.

Buncombe County seal

Commission­ers consider medication-assisted treatment endorsemen­t

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.

Mark Byrd Civil Service Board hearing

Civil Service Board finds Byrd firing unjustifie­d in rare closed session

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.

Uherka site plan

Commission­ers deny Swannanoa rezoning in 4-3 split

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.

Census taker going door to door

Buncombe County plans for 2020 census

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.

North Fork water treatment plant

Asheville seeks new approach to water treatment sludge

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.