On Tuesday, April 5, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners authorized financing improvements to the Asheville Regional Airport with the proceeds of tax-exempt bonds, accepted grant funding to improve public health outcomes for justice-involved individuals, and approved funding to bolster the County’s cybersecurity program.
With the approval of the resolution authorizing financing improvements to the Asheville Regional Airport, revenue bonds not to exceed $275,000,000 will be used for capital improvements at the airport. The airport authority is simply required by the Internal Revenue Code to give public notice, and this satisfies that requirement. Learn more about the resolution authorizing the financing of improvements.
The $445,000 grant accepted from Dogwood Health Trust will provide 12 months of funding for the joint Justice Services and Public Health initiative to improve public health outcomes for justice-involved individuals. Building on existing structures and service delivery models, this grant increases capacity to support those being released from our local detention and correctional facilities with connection to care and re-entry services via contracts with RHA Health Services and Sunrise Community for Recovery and Wellness. The grant was first applied for in 2020.
"Individuals reentering the community from detention are vulnerable, especially when they do not have the resources and support needed to re-establish stability," said Justice Services Director Tiffany Iheanacho. "Through the collaborative efforts of the County, RHA Health Services, and Sunrise Community and Wellness, we are able to provide resources and services to clients, including housing support, mental health treatment, and employment opportunities. The goal of this collaborative work is to reduce recidivism and increase public safety.” Click here to view the full presentation to the Board.
With the Board’s approval of $225,197 to augment and strengthen the County's cybersecurity program, the funds will allow County staff to acquire services, applications, and tools to provide 24/7 network monitoring of malicious and suspicious activity, advanced threat detection, dark-web monitoring for compromised County data and application vulnerability scanning. IT Director Eric Grau explained the importance of this investment: “Buncombe County residents trust their data to our organization, and we provide critical services. Whether it's fire and police service to trash collection to our public health department, all these involve sensitive data. All of these involve technology and, if we get ransomware, our network gets compromised, those services have to be shut down. We've seen these things happen in local governments, and the recovery from that can be extremely expensive and can take a long time." View the ordinance here.
To view the full agenda and supporting documents, click here.