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Commissioners Tap Parker Sloan as New Vice Chair, Set Meeting Schedule for 2024, Get Financial Updates, & More

During their last meeting of the year, Commissioners tended to some administrative housekeeping at their Dec. 5 formal meeting. As required by state law, the Board of Commissioners must have a Vice Chair available in case the Chair is not able to perform their duties. Buncombe County has rotated the position over the years and selected Commissioner Parker Sloan to replace Commissioner Terri Wells as Vice Chair for the next one-year term.

Commissioners also approved their meeting schedule for 2024. For the most part, Commissioners meet on the first and third Tuesday of every month. Commissioners will not meet on March 5 due to the primary election. That meeting will be held on Thursday, March 7. To see the schedule with the exception of the March 5 adjustment for next year, click here (please note the March 5 date has not been moved to March 7 yet). You can always watch meetings online here.

Financial quarterly reports

Commissioners received reports on fiscal year 2023’s fourth quarter and fiscal year 2024’s first quarter. Some highlights from the reports include:

FY23, fourth quarter:

  • General fund budgeted uses (expenditures) ended at $421.1 million. Actuals as of June 30 were $397.4 million or 94.4% of budget.
  • Budget savings resulted from:
    • $13.7 million in operating.
    • $4.9 million in salaries and benefits due to vacancies.
    • $4.8 million in program support.
  • FY23 expenditures ended 6.9% ($25.7 million) greater than the prior year. The breakdown of this increase included:
    • $16.4 million in salary and benefits, driven by a 4.69% Cost of Living increase for employees and the addition of new personnel.
    • $7.5 million in program support, the majority of which came from increased education support.

FY24, first quarter:

  • As of Sept. 30, FY24 general fund budgeted sources (revenues) total $435.4 million, which includes $23.8 million of appropriated fund balance, and actuals total $50.2 million, which represents 11.5% of budgeted revenue.
  • General fund budgeted uses (expenditures) total $435.4 million and actuals as of Sept. 30 are $93.1 million or 21.4% of budget. This time last year, actuals were at 20.7% ($84.2 million actuals against $406.5 million in budget) of budgeted expenditures.

You can read both reports here (please note, information is unaudited at this time):

Biltmore Farms rezoning request

Commissioners approved a rezoning request from Biltmore Farms. The nearly 765-acre property is located at 179 East Frederick Law Olmstead Way and Brevard Road. Previously, the land was a mixture of zoning including residential, commercial, and maintaining the Blue Ridge Parkway Overlay designations. The rezoning will give the majority of the property an Employment zoning designation while keeping a section zoned for low-density residential. You can read more about the rezoning here.

Affordable housing program

The County is updating some requirements and guidelines for its Affordable Housing Services Program. Commissioners approved modifying loan agreement requirements, maximum loan amount, project preferences, and some administrative revisions. Regarding the updated project preferences, the following will be given a strong preference moving forward:

  • Housing referrals from the Continuum of Care for households experiencing homelessness.
  • Projects including renewable energy systems and/or that demonstrate compliance with energy efficiency best practices, such as Energy Star.

You can read more about the updated Affordable Housing Services Program here.

Annual examination of bonds

State law requires Commissioners to annually examine bonds issued by the Tax Collector, Finance Director, Register of Deeds, and Sheriff. Commissioners approved a resolution to conduct reviews, which will help determine whether security has been impaired, or for any cause become insufficient to cover the amount of money or property or to secure the faithful performance of the duties of the office. You can read the approved resolution here.

Budget amendments

Commissioners approved budget amendments for the Enka Recreation Destination, DWI Taskforce, and DOJ accreditation for the Sheriff’s Office. Additional details of the three amendments include:

  • $750,000 from the Tourism Development Authority (TDA) to complete an additional restroom and additional amenities at the Buncombe County Sports Park. This brings the total budget of the Enka Recreation Destination to $13,484,226. No additional County funding is required. You can read more here.
  • $154,481 to extend three sworn law enforcement officers through Sep. 30, 2024. The County will match $154,480 and that funding has already been budgeted. You can read the ordinance here.
  • $249,835 from the Department of Justice to fund an Accreditation Manager position and associated expenses for two years to help the Sheriff’s Office maintain and receive state and federal accreditations. The grant has a $49,996 match provided by the Sheriff’s Office. You can read the ordinance here.

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Updated Dec 08, 2023 03:34 PM
Published Dec 05, 2023 06:00 PM

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