While the initial round of One Buncombe money was split between emergency assistance for individuals and low-interest loans to small businesses, the new $500,000 would go entirely toward grants of up to $5,000 for business owners.
Starting Friday, Sept. 24, local organizations can submit projects in the following categories for grants from the federal funds: affordable housing, care for aging residents, climate change, city infrastructure, domestic violence prevention and assistance, food systems, homelessness services, public engagement, revenue losses, small business recovery and workforce development.
The largest single grant of $4 million will support broadband infrastructure expansion in unserved areas of the county. Brownie Newman, chair of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners, said that investment would leverage an additional $6 million from the state of North Carolina and private broadband providers.
The vote on the proposed $9.75 million emergency shelter project was delayed so that members of Council have more time to review the proposal and understand community concerns.
At its meeting of Tuesday, Aug. 3, the county Board of Commissioners will vote on a more than $665,000 budget amendment to support regional vaccination efforts. The money includes a new allocation of $75,000 from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as over $590,000 in unspent funds from last fiscal year.
Highest on city staff’s list of potential funding priorities were affordable housing, public engagement, homelessness, public and mental health, small business recovery and workforce development.
Scheduled for a vote at Council’s regular meeting is a series of revisions to the city’s noise ordinance that would set specific decibel levels for downtown, as well as commercial and industrial areas, as measured from any property away from the source of the noise.