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Commissioners Take Step Toward Federal Funding, Get Update on Strategic Partnership Community Investment Grants

Buncombe County Commissioners are moving forward with plans to tap into federal funding for affordable housing and other community-related projects. During their meeting on Aug. 16, Commissioners approved a citizen participation plan, which is required to apply for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding. The federal grant program will distribute nearly $21 million across North Carolina, and Buncombe County could be eligible for $950,000 of that funding.

Projects eligible for CDBG funding include:

  • Promoting equitable and affordable housing
  • Housing rehabilitation
  • Scattered-site housing
  • Housing development
  • Community revitalization
  • Public facilities
  • Water and sewer connections to existing homes

A public hearing on the County’s CDBG application will be held on Sept. 20. The County anticipates hearing if it’s been awarded CDBG funding in November, at which time it will develop an implementation plan. For additional information on the CDBG process, click here.

Strategic Partnership Grants update

A County project in its third year of funding provided Commissioners with an update. The Strategic Partnership Grants recently awarded its latest round of funding in July for Fiscal Year 2023. Buncombe County distributed $900,000 in Strategic Partner grants to 37 local projects from the 66 applications received asking for just over $2.5 million.

The following is a breakdown of the current fiscal year’s funding awards:

  • Education: $207,753 for eight projects
  • Environment: $87,700 for three projects
  • Well-being: $417,592 for 20 projects
  • Economy: $186,955 for six projects

Those projects receiving funding are in the midst of having site visits and will ultimately be reviewed and scored to make sure they are meeting their stated objectives. Those performance reviews are posted on the County’s website on a quarterly basis. For a more detailed breakdown of the Strategic Partnership projects and additional information, click here.

Mission Hospital update

The Board of Commissioners invited a group of nurses from Mission Health to share their experiences as part of their ongoing effort to learn more about the health care provider. The presentation discussed the benefits and challenges for the recently unionized nurses. Last month, Buncombe County and the City of Asheville announced a class action antitrust lawsuit against Mission Hospital, HCA Healthcare, Inc., and others. You can read more about that lawsuit here.

DWI task force budget amendment

Commissioners approved accepting a state grant from the DWI Task Force worth $188,447 that will help keep three law enforcement positions through Sept. 30, 2023. The County will pitch in $80,763 from the Sheriff’s Office general fund to cover the County’s contribution. The three positions are eligible for additional years of funding. You can learn more about the grant-funded positions here.

Budget amendment for limited obligation bonds

Commissioners approved a budget amendment necessary to make debt service payments for new limited obligation bonds (LOBs) while helping save money on interest on previous LOBs. Recently, Buncombe County closed on LOBs 2022A (new money) and LOBs 2022B (refunding of LOBs 2014A). The 2022A amount in the general fund is associated with FY22 solar projects and the new fleet complex. The 2022B amount is associated with a refunding of 2014A, resulting in interest savings. This amendment budgets the FY23 debt service payments in the general fund.

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Updated Dec 07, 2022 12:46 PM
Published Aug 16, 2022 06:00 PM