Nine residents spoke at the Oct. 1 meeting of the Board of Commissioners about the county’s new agreement with residential waste collection contractor Waste Pro, the second consecutive meeting at which the issue was on the agenda. All of the commenters were critical of the contract, which requires customers to use Waste Pro-provided carts for their trash and recycling.
Dane Pedersen, Buncombe County’s solid waste director, said many residents were confused over what would be included in the $19.21 monthly service fee. He explained that the cost covers the required rental of two containers from Waste Pro, one for trash and one for recycling, as well as weekly trash pickup and recycling collection every two weeks.
“The recent scandals about misspent economic development funds show that the game was really to create a pool of funds, which certain officials could dip into to spend tax money for their personal benefit.”
Beyond recruiting new companies such as Haakon Industries and Fox Factory, the Asheville-Buncombe County Economic Development Coalition supported workforce development and local startups during fiscal year 2018-19. The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners learned about the return on its $350,000 EDC investment at an Aug. 20 meeting.
Board chair Brownie Newman, Vice Chair Jasmine Beach-Ferarra and member Amanda Edwards have placed a resolution endorsing the Sheriff’s Office’s use of MAT on the commission’s agenda for Tuesday, Aug. 20. The treatment is currently offered to the jail’s pregnant female inmates, but Buncombe officials hope to expand its availability to all incarcerated individuals.
The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners approved the proposal — including over $334.5 million in general fund spending, the portion primarily funded by property taxes — in a 6-1 vote at its June 18 regular meeting. Only Commissioner Mike Fryar cast his vote in opposition to the plan.
Through medication-assisted treatment, inmates with opioid addiction could receive drugs such as naltrexone or buprenorphine, in conjunction with counseling and therapy, to help them avoid returning to dangerous substances such as heroin or fentanyl.
Minneapolis-based CliftonLarsonAllen conducted roughly 2,700 hours of work — over three times its original estimate of 885 hours — from July 1 through May 14, when CLA principal Bill Early presented the results to the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners.
Buncombe County Board of Commissioners members expressed their concerns over the city’s impending requests for county funds to expand its Asheville Redefines Transit service. “This is Buncombe County; it’s not the city of Buncombe,” said Commissioner Mike Fryar.
Over the protests of Republicans, who felt the allotment was too large and would put a burden on taxpayers, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners approved a multimillion dollar investment in early childhood education on Oct. 30.
Citing concerns about cost, commissioners decided Oct. 16 to stop using the services of a local attorney who had been advising the board on matters involving the federal criminal investigation into Wanda Greene and other former Buncombe County employees.
The Weaverville session was the first of three that Buncombe County will host to cover each of the board’s three election districts. District 2 Commissioners Mike Fryar and Ellen Frost were in the hot seat on Thursday evening.
Last month, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners approved moving forward with litigation against the opioid industry and now it officially has a federal lawsuit against pain pill manufacturers and distributors.
The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners approved a measure to strip the chair’s ability to shepherd items onto the agenda in favor of solely giving that procedural power to a group of three or more commissioners.
Buncombe County commissioners signed off on amending economic development incentives, expanding preschool offerings and moving forward with a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers.
Commissioners voted down a resolution that would have Buncombe County move toward 100 percent renewable energy over the next decade amid concerns over specifics of the plan.
Buncombe County Commission Chair Brownie Newman is trying to expedite more changes to the county’s personnel ordinance, but not all commissioners are on board with his proposals.
Former Buncombe County Manager Wanda Greene cashed out on a $500,000 payday for six months of work in 2017 and more than $1.6 million over the past four years.
The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved changes to the county’s personnel ordinance that establishes a whistle blower hotline and providers more detailed language on immediate family members working together.
The number of opioid-related hospital visits in Buncombe County is up 172 percent from the previous year and commissioners and looking to the courtroom for relief.