BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER: While community members largely spoke out in favor of Alternative 4B for Section B of the I-26 Connector Project, several aspects of NCDOT’s design, such as the three bridges that would span the French Broad River near Montford (above), have a coalition of Montford neighbors and others questioning the scale and scope of the design. Image via NCDOT; courtesy of DWAC

Despite progress, concerns about the I-26 Connector persist

When the DOT finally decided on a design for Section B of the Connector project in 2015, many stakeholders thought they saw light at the end of a very long tunnel. Other residents, however, see serious flaws in Alternative 4B, questioning whether the project’s long-term benefits will justify the sacrifices their neighborhoods must make to see it completed.

BUDGET FINALIZED: The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners approved a budget during its meeting June 21. The spending plan includes a property tax hike of 2.6 cents per $100 of assessed property value.

Schools may be key to property tax relief

The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners held a nearly five-hour budget workshop May 16, a forum dedicated to presentations and requests from county departments. However, talks also showed a possible path toward nudging closer to a revenue-neutral property tax rate. A taxing issue County Manager Wanda Greene’s proposed budget for next fiscal year is $419,289,728, […]

Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer. Photo by Max Cooper

Mayor Manheimer, Asheville citizens call for fair redistrict­ing

Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer held a press conference Thursday, May 11, to highlight House Bill 200, which seeks to end gerrymandering on a statewide level. Asheville residents affiliated with Common Cause NC, a nonprofit organization based out of Raleigh, also spoke against gerrymandering within congressional districts and the need to support the proposed legislation.

Chuck Edwards, Republican, NC Senate District 48. Photo courtesy of Edwards

Lines in the sand: Fight brews over Asheville districts

Sen. Chuck Edwards of Hendersonville explains some of the considerations that led him to introduce a bill that would compel Asheville to institute district elections for seats on its City Council. And Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer lays out the reasons the city plans to follow a “parallel process” that may include a referendum on the issue, despite Raleigh’s insistence that the city knuckle under by Nov. 1.

TAKIN' IT TO THE STREETS: Asheville residents took to the streets of downtown on Saturday, April 29 in solidarity with the national People's Climate March. Photo by Max Hunt

In Photos: Asheville residents rally for People’s Climate March

Asheville residents turned out in scores to show solidarity with the National People’s Climate March on Saturday, April 29. The procession marched through downtown, waving banners and signs, and chanting slogans urging government leaders to recognize climate change data. The marchers, which ranged in age from small children to older residents (and a couple dogs), […]

The roof of Asheville City Hall.

Asheville voters could choose: Council districts or status quo?

Asheville voters may face an up or down vote on the city district elections plan making its way through the N.C. General Assembly. City Council accepted the advice of City Attorney Robin Currin to hold a referendum on establishing six districts for seats on the council versus the city’s current at-large election system in November.

BUDGET FINALIZED: The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners approved a budget during its meeting June 21. The spending plan includes a property tax hike of 2.6 cents per $100 of assessed property value.

$7 million in grants, incentives on commissioners’ agenda

The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners may be in for a long night when it confronts a full agenda at its Tuesday, April 18, meeting. Commissioners will hear presentations for two grant requests totaling $6.2 million, and consider approval of an economic development incentive package worth $881,960. Commissioners will also hold public hearings on two […]

The roof of Asheville City Hall.

Council to puzzle over district election survey results

Asheville City Council will consider the results of a poll that show 54 percent of city voters support keeping elections for the Council as they are now — and the same percentage would vote yes to change them if asked by a referendum. Council meets at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 11 at 5 p.m. At 3 p.m., Council will hold its final work session dedicated to the 2017-18 fiscal year budget.