Seal_of_Asheville,_North_Carolina

Asheville Council to vote on spending $6 million more for RAD roadways

Asheville City Council will consider writing a check for an additional $6 million to get some elements of the River Arts District infrastructure project up and running. Construction bids came in over 50 percent higher than expected, forcing the city to cut elements from the planned improvements and dig deep into its pocketbook. Council meets at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 27 at City Hall.

Seal_of_Asheville,_North_Carolina

Asheville City Council to vote on budget

Asheville City Council will vote on the city’s 2017-18 budget for the fiscal year that will begin July 1. New pedestrian safety measures for Fairview Road, an affordable housing development on city-owned land and a strategy aimed at allowing Asheville residents to control the method used for electing representatives to City Council are also on the agenda for the Tuesday, June 13 meeting.

CURRENT EVENTS: Water rushes down Canterbury Road during a recent storm, carrying rocks, gravel and sediment along its path. Residents of the Albemarle Park neighborhood, which lies to the east of Charlotte Street at the foot of Sunset Mountain, say flooding in the area has increased dramatically over the last few years. According to the city’s 2016 stormwater capital improvement projects plan, a $1 million effort to improve drainage on Canterbury Road should begin in the 2017-18 fiscal year. Photo by Rich Mathews

Climate change, aging infrastruc­ture and rapid developmen­t fuel Asheville stormwater woes

A changing climate, aging infrastructure and rapid rates of development are contributing to a rising tide of stormwater problems in Asheville. But responsibility for stormwater infrastructure often rests with private property owners, complicating the process of planning and paying for fixes.

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Letter: Starvation wages, urban renewal and gerrymande­ring

“Indeed, policies are still in place actively working against the formation of new communities — zoning rules that forbid local shops that could serve as neighborhood hubs, lot size restrictions that might work for the suburbs, but which result in a farcically low population density in a city; a lack of sidewalks that means you may have to take your life in your hands just to go check up on a neighbor.”

BEST AND BRIGHTEST: Participants in the City of Asheville Youth Leadership Academy were recognized at the May 9 meeting of City Council. Photo by Virginia Daffron

Asheville Council closes in on city budget

At its May 9 meeting, Asheville City Council grappled with the challenge of creating a city budget in a time of plenty. “Oddly,” said Mayor Esther Manheimer, this year’s budgeting process has been more difficult than during the recession. Council asked City Manager Gary Jackson to tweak his proposal to achieve a property tax rate that reflects a revenue-neutral rate plus 3.5 cents to pay for interest on the city’s $74 million bond program.

Seal_of_Asheville,_North_Carolina

City budget and policing on tap for May 9 session of Asheville Council

If you want to attend Asheville City Council’s May 9 meeting, arrive early. Between a response from the Police Department to a recent report on racial disparities in policing to the first presentation of the city manager’s proposed budget for the 2017-18 Fiscal Year, there’s a lot on the agenda that could be of interest to a variety of city residents and advocates.

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.

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Asheville traffic stop data show racial inequities

Data reported to the State Bureau of Investigation by the Asheville Police Department reveal significant racial disparities in traffic stops, an attorney for the Southern Coalition of Social Justice told Asheville City Council on April 24. And even though the data are disturbing, they may not tell the full story: An analysis revealed an apparent failure to report data for 58 percent of audited traffic stops, despite a state law requires police departments to provide demographic data for all stops.

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.