More than $400,000 will help low-income homes with water bills as the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners approved accepting federal funding for a water assistance program during its Aug. 2 meeting. The emergency assistance funding is designed to help low-income households prevent disconnection of water services or assist with reconnection of drinking and wastewater services. In all, the federal government is allocating $432,650 for the initiative.
The program runs now through June 2023. Please contact Eblen Charities at (828) 255-3066 if you’re interested in additional information or applying.
ARPA economic development appropriations
Commissioners approved $375,000 in ARAP funding for the Community Equity Fund program that will to help minority- and women-owned businesses continue to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is administered by Eagle Market Streets Development Corporation and will provide local businesses a capital infusion without having to take on additional debt.
For additional information, contact Eagle Market Streets Development Corporation at (828) 281-1227.
MSD’s Fiscal Year 2022 update
The Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) provided Commissioners with a yearly update on its operations. MSD owns and maintains more than 1,100 miles of County collection lines that serve more than 200,000 people. During the past 12 months, MSD has:
- Conducted preventative maintenance cleaning of 874,899 feet of sewer main.
- Constructed 21,000 feet of new sewer lines to replace aging lines.
- Spent $1.57 million on asphalt paving
MSD is also starting a 10-year capital improvement that will spend $389.3 million on collection system rehabilitation, a treatment plant, and more. For more information on MSD operations, you can view their presentation here.
Budget amendment for epidemiology laboratory capacity enhanced detection
State money will help continue COVID-19 preparedness by offsetting the cost of an existing temporary nursing position and funding two new temporary administrative positions. Commissioners approved accepting the $1,233,156 in state funding that will also provide support with testing, contact tracing, surveillance, containment, and more.
Budget amendment to move funding for two positions from Legal to Emergency Services
Two positions that have existed in the Legal and Risk Cost Center are being moved to the Emergency Services Cost Center to better align with departmental operations. Those positions are: Safety, Preparedness, and Recovery Officer and Safety Officer. This budget amendment moves $260,039 for both positions from the General Government Function to the Public Safety Function. No new funds are required.