BOOM TOWN: Shown here around 1929, Pack Square at that time was ringed by the 1926 Asheville City Hall, the 1903 and 1928 Buncombe County courthouses, Pack Memorial Library, Legal Building, Central Bank & Trust, Commerce Building, Westall Building and Jackson Building. Photo by George Masa, provided courtesy of the North Carolina Collection, Pack Memorial Public Library

Asheville’s bond fears: The legacy of a financial nightmare

Has Asheville recovered from the trauma of its municipal debt crisis, which spanned the years between 1930 and 1976? The debt had a profound impact on Asheville’s development, its cityscape and, lastingly, its appetite for municipal debt. This year’s $74 million bond referendum will put the city’s confidence to the test when it asks voters to choose whether it’s time for the city to borrow again to finance growth.

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Council to hear residents’ input on bond referendum­; take deciding vote

City Council will hear public input on a proposed $74 million bond referendum at its Aug. 9 meeting — but all Council can do in response to those comments is vote for or against including each of the three bond categories on the general election ballot in November. The deadline to adjust the total borrowing amount in each category was July 26.

Students from A.C. Reynolds High School told City Council they need public transportation for after school activities and tutoring. Photo by Virginia Daffron

Council hears summary of proposed $161 million city budget, $46 million short-term bonds

On May 10, City Council heard presentations from city CFO Barbara Whitehorn on the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year, as well as short-term bonds that will finance $46 million in capital improvement projects during construction. Council also heard from a group of A.C. Reynolds High School students who are asking for a bus connection to the city’s transit system.

Park? Plaza? Revenue generating building? City Council approved a community visioning process for city-owned lots on Haywood Street and Page Avenue. All options will be on the table. Photo by Virginia Daffron

Council approves planning process for Haywood Street sites; will demo former Sister Cities building

Asheville City Council approved a public visioning process to solicit broad community input on the future use of city-owned property across from the U.S. Cellular Center and the Basilica of St. Lawrence. Council also voted to demolish a city-owned building adjacent to the area at 33-35 Page Avenue. The building was the headquarters of the Asheville Sister Cities organization before the structure was condemned in November last year.

Hotel owner John McKibbon promises living wage for full-time employees of redeveloped BB&T building, $250,000 contribution to affordable housing trust fund, $750,000 investment on publicly-owned land and public art. Photo by Virginia Daffron

McKibbon gets Council go-ahead for BB&T reno

Wrap up of key City Council decisions from Jan. 12 meeting, including renovation of the former BB&T building, preliminary utility fee waiver for Lee Walker Heights redevelopment for purposes of securing financing, Givens Estates Creekside redevelopment approval and the apparent end of the line for the effort to save the Collier Street Wood on Asheville’s South Slope.