This news item expired on Wednesday, June 7, 2023 so the information below could be outdated or incorrect.
Buncombe County Commissioners kicked off June with a proclamation recognizing Pride Month during its meeting on June 7. Accepting the proclamation was County Information Technology Technician Cata Bulai, stating, “I’d like to take the opportunity to acknowledge Buncombe County’s ongoing efforts to make sure its policies represent all citizens, including the LGBTQIA+ community.”
The proclamation reads in part: “It is important to take time during this month to reflect on the LGBTQIA+ rights movement and the important progress being made. More than 35,000 of our neighbors in Western North Carolina identify as LGBTQIA+, and recent survey at UNC-Asheville revealed a third of students don’t identify with conventional binary, heterosexual stereotypes. LGBTQIA+ individuals across the United States, including those who live in our local community, continue to face hate and discrimination simply for being who they are and for who they love. There remains much work to do to extend the promise of our country to every person.”
You can read the entire proclamation here.
Regional Sports Commission
The Asheville Buncombe Regional Sports Commission presented Commissioners with its yearly report on events hosted and their economic impact. Competitions such as golf tournaments, road races, the popular SoCon basketball championships, and even a corn hole tournament yielded significant attendees and dollars spent in the local economy. The Commission states the 12 events the County hosted brought in nearly 50,000 people with a direct spend of just over $13 million. You can view the Sports Commission’s presentation here.
Bonds for County and public school projects
Commissioners approved about $155 million in financing via limited obligation bonds (LOBs) for a variety of projects. The following is a breakdown of how the funding will be spent:
- About $25 million for countywide capital projects
- $45 million for public school capital projects
- $85 million for refinancing LOBs from 2014.
You can review the resolution here.
Approval of audit contract
The company responsible for the last four years of auditing the County will continue its work in its fifth and final year of the contract. Commissioners approved a contract for CliftonLarsonAllen LLP to provide an upcoming audit with a report due by the end of October 2022. The contract price will range from $162,700-$190,200, depending on the scope of work.
You can view the contract here.
Resolution modifying the Land Conservation Advisory Board
The Land Conservation Advisory Board will look different moving forward. In a move to update its structure and appointment format, Commissioners approved a request to reduce the number of members from 15 to nine while setting term limits. Currently there are 11 members, and two of those positions will not be refilled after those terms expire. For more information, click here.
Budget amendment for Register of Deeds excise stamp tax
Revenue from the Register of Deeds’ excise stamp tax is greater than anticipated for the current fiscal year. It was estimated the tax would create $6 million, but new projections have it creating about $9 million in revenue by the end of the fiscal year. In response, Commissioners approved a budget amendment to increase the revenue budget by $1 million to a total of $9.5 million, increase the expense budget by $490,000 to a total of $4.66 million (49% of revenues), and lower the appropriated fund balance by $510,000 (the remaining 51% of revenues). You can read the budget amendment ordinance here.
Budget amendment for health insurance stop-loss adjustment
As additional reimbursements come in from health care costs throughout the fiscal year, budget amendments are required. Commissioners approved a $1.5 million amendment that reconciles stop-loss credits received through April 2022 and takes into consideration estimated reimbursements for the remainder of the fiscal year. No additional County funding was used for this amendment. You can view the budget amendment ordinance here.
Attenuation light for Leicester Volunteer Fire Department
To help logistics of the Leicester Volunteer Fire Department, Commissioners are considering cost sharing for an attenuation light system at the intersection of Alexander Road. The lighting system will be used to help control traffic at intersections near public safety facilities when emergency vehicles are dispatched. The cost for the lighting is about $25,000. Commissioners asked for additional information about the lighting system and will vote on the item during their next meeting. You can view a map of where the system will be installed here.