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Public Input Needed: Help Buncombe Identify, Prioritize COVID-Related Projects

Throughout Buncombe County’s response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, we have looked to our community to help us identify needs, projects, services, and other areas of need. As part of the American Rescue Plan, Buncombe County is slated to receive about $50 million in federal Recovery Funding to directly address COVID response efforts and peripheral economic fallout from the pandemic. In regard to how we use some of that money, we want to hear from you. If you have ideas, please take this brief survey to help us identify areas of need.

What projects qualify for funding?

Please note, the County is still awaiting specific guidance from the federal government about the leeway for using Recovery Funding for general economic needs associated with the pandemic. We also want to be intentional about using Recovery Funding for initiatives that correlate to our 2025 Strategic Plan, are equitable, and will be able to be completed by the end of 2024, the established deadline to exhaust Recovery Funding.

Below are general guidelines for how Recovery Funding can be used. Please keep these in mind when taking our brief survey.

  • To respond to the public health emergency or its negative economic impacts.
  • To provide a premium pay to eligible employees for essential work 
  • To address certain revenue reductions
  • To make infrastructure investments in water, sewer, broadband

Beyond meeting the above criteria, project ideas will be evaluated by County staff to make sure it meets some or all of the following criteria:

  • In line with County strategic plan priorities
  • Balance between community-focused projects and initiatives that build County government capacity. (E.g., finding balance between equity/infrastructure and issues like environmental stewardship/vibrant economy.)
  • Equitable outcomes and support for populations most affected by COVID-19. 
  • Partnership and collaboration across organizations and governments.
  • Leverages other funding sources.
  • One-time expenditures rather than ongoing operational costs.
  • Timeframes in line with December 2024 deadline to spend funds.

Take the survey

So, how do you think Buncombe County should use these Recovery Funds? Click here to share your ideas through our brief survey. The deadline to respond is May 14.