On Tuesday, April 19, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners recognized Sexual Assault Prevention Month, authorized tax-exempt financing improvements to Lenoir Rhyne University, approved educational funding, formally supported refugee resettlement, authorized $3 hourly increases for detention officers, and moved $15,172,602 of unreserved, undesignated fund balance to the Capital Projects Fund.
April has long-been recognized as Sexual Assault Prevention Month to increase awareness, decrease its frequency, and save lives. The Board of Commissioners approved the proclamation, and presented a copy to representatives from the Family Justice Center and Our VOICE, a local non-profit that serves survivors of sexual violence, age 13 through adult, in Buncombe County. Click here to read the full proclamation.
With the approval of the resolution authorizing Lenoir-Rhyne University financing, tax-exempt revenue bonds can be issued by the University, with the proceeds financing and refinancing the costs of projects for several campus facilities, including its Asheville campus. The University will be solely responsible for all payments on the bonds. The County has no responsibility for any costs incurred by the University. Click here to read the resolution authorizing financing.
The Board approved a letter of support for Lutheran Family Services, which has provided services to 87 refugees from Afghanistan since February, 2022. Lutheran Family Services is looking to bring more Afghan and Ukrainian refugees to Buncombe County, and this letter of support will be part of their application with the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.
The Board of Commissioners also heard a request from Sheriff Quentin Miller to increase pay for officers at Detention Center to include sergeants and lieutenants. “As a point of process as I understand, the question before us is ‘do we support increasing the pay range?’, but the actual budget allocation is yours to make as you manage the budget for the year,” said Commissioner Jasmine Beach-Ferrara. “I’m fully supportive of making that increase to the pay range to make it as attractive as it can be to the candidates in the field.” Up to 150 detention officers could be impacted by proposed pay classification increases, which the Board supported at an increase of $3 per hour. Buncombe County is currently studying employee compensation and bringing recommendations to a future meeting, and that study will not include a new salary ladder for detention officers. Click here to view the full presentation.
In two budget amendments for local schools, $1,965,000 was approved for escalations at school capital projects and $845,000 was approved for stadium upgrades at Reynolds High. The stadium upgrades are funding with N.C. Education Lottery Fund dollars, and Article 39 sales tax designated for the School Capital Fund Commission will be utilized for the school capital projects. Click here to view the supporting documents.
The Board approved a request to shift $15,172,602 of unreserved, undesignated fund balance to the Capital Projects Fund. Click here to view projects that could be funded if approved following a future public hearing.
To view the full agenda and supporting documents, click here.