Rural northern Buncombe County is the first area in the county to see the result of the American Rescue Plan Act’s quest to expand reliable broadband access. Buncombe is one of 81 NC counties that have received state funding to improve internet service.
Buncombe behavioral health manager Victoria Reichard noted that the county has received roughly $2 million of a more than $16 million lawsuit settlement, negotiated with pharmaceutical companies over their role in the opioid epidemic, this fiscal year. Of those funds, a county team has recommended about $518,000 in immediate spending.
Federal Treasury data shows that about half of the American Rescue Plan Act funds spent in WNC counties has been used on staff salaries. Nearly $98 million is still available to be allocated.
“Using very simple math, you can see how unrealistic these goals are!”
The county may offer reduced monthly parking passes in its Coxe Avenue parking deck, cutting the monthly cost to rent a space in that garage from $85 to $40 for employees who work within about a mile of Pack Square.
Six years after a 196-unit development on the Elk Mountain ridgeline in Woodfin was abandoned following public dissent, a new project on the same site will likely come before the Woodfin planning board Tuesday, Oct. 4.
The presentation, available on the Board of Commissioners agenda prior to the Sept. 6 meeting, focuses on the nearly $3.75 million awarded from the county’s early childhood education fund in fiscal year 2021-2022. Across 21 funded projects, according to the presentation, 71% of goals were met, with most shortfalls coming in enrollment, attendance and staffing targets.
This November, Buncombe County voters will determine if the county pursues up to $70 million in bonds. If approved, $30 million would go toward land conservation and greenways, while $40 million would fund up to 3,100 affordable housing units.
The complaint, which also names Greene’s son Michael Greene and his wife, Celena Greene, alleges that the former official hid hundreds of thousands of dollars with her family members to avoid paying restitution to Buncombe County.
According to Matthew Cable, Buncombe’s community development division manager, the county unsuccessfully applied for the same funding last year. The county Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing on the grant during its meeting Tuesday, Aug. 16.
Both Buncombe County and the city of Asheville have resolved that, by the end of 2030, government operations will be powered entirely by renewable energy. With less than eight years until that deadline, what progress has been made toward the energy goals?
Enka Partners of Asheville requests an amendment to the conditional zoning on 45.5 acres on Enka Heritage Parkway to allow for new site plans. Because a tenant expected to lease the space — widely suspected to be online retailer Amazon, according to the Asheville Citizen-Times — backed out, the plans have been redesigned to call for over 585,000 square feet of spec space.
“There should be zero homeless children because they do not have a choice.”
“The thinking used to be, you put some architects on there. And you’d want to have a real estate investor, or a developer, or someone who’s a real estate agent, or you’d have some prominent business owner,” says Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer. “We’ve recognized that you need a Planning and Zoning Commission that’s more reflective of your community.”
As residents cope with Asheville’s red-hot housing market and rising mortgage rates, some low- and moderate-income families are turning to local and national down payment assistance programs to overcome one of homebuying’s biggest barriers.
The plan, to be considered by Asheville’s Planning and Zoning Commission July 6, contains ten key initiatives, including a gateway to reconnect McCormick Field and Memorial Stadium with downtown, public art installations, commemoration of the neighborhood’s African American history, affordable housing and transforming Coxe Avenue into a tree-lined “green Main Street.”
Mobile-home owners can now receive the grants, while those who own multiple dwellings or receive other tax reductions will no longer be eligible. Those with “liquid resources” (cash or financial assets that could be converted to cash within a week) of more than $60,000 will also be disqualified, a change from the terms recommended by county staff.
The U.S. Forest Service’s proposed land management plan for the Pisgah and Nantahala forests has drawn thousands of objections, leading to an extension of time to review concerns. The Forest Service chief now calls the plan revision process, which took more than a decade, unsustainable.
“Minimum wages seem always to be behind the times re: what it actually costs for workers to experience an adequate quality of life.”
“If the city can maintain a baseball field at an annual cost of $25,000, used almost exclusively by boys paying to play in organized sports leagues, I sincerely hope we can fund the maintenance of a rebuilt Jones Park Playground.”
Brevard officials hope other Western North Carolina local governments will join the city’s lawsuit alleging monopolistic practices by HCA Healthcare. None have, but none say they have ruled it out.