MAKE WAY: Asheville City Council approved a widened "multi-use path" along the stretch of Lyman Street between Amboy Road and the former site of 12 Bones Smokehouse. The change from a 10-foot-wide greenway to a 16-foot-wide path was in response to scaled-back plans that eliminated a protected bike lane along the stretch. Former Council member Marc Hunt suggested the revision. Image courtesy of Marc Hunt

Smaller project, bigger budget, approved for RAD

On behalf of Asheville taxpayers, members of City Council swallowed a bitter pill on June 27: The city will pay more and get much less than it expected for the River Arts District Transportation Improvement Project. Soaring construction costs led to a revised project scope, with three greenways and the Livingston Street Complete Streets initiative among the components left on the cutting-room floor. Since December, the city has pledged $12 million more to the project than originally planned.

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.

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.

What’s it worth? Behind the city of Asheville’­s “aspiratio­nal” $11.6 million wish list

New parking decks, affordable housing, a renovation to the Asheville Art Museum, and pedestrian improvements. All these and more are the goals of an $11.6 million fund the city of Asheville’s government wants to set up in an attempt to spur economic development. With planned savings from state legislation looking increasingly unlikely, the city may use a tax increase to make the projects a reality.

‘A pyramid instead of a rake’: City reorganize­s senior staff, creates new department

Asheville City Manager Gary Jackson has undertaken a major staff reorganization: Three senior staff members will oversee “functional groupings” that put multiple, related departments under one umbrella, and a new “general services” department will oversee building and vehicle maintenance. Jackson claims the changes will make for better coordination and efficiency,