Skip to main content

Commissioners Declare February Black Legacy Month, Donate Used Laptops to Land of Sky Regional Council, & More

Black community leaders in Buncombe County

Buncombe County is committed to advancing equity through actions such as the Racial Equity Plan, acknowledging racism as a public health and safety crisis, and more. During their meeting on Feb. 23, Commissioners declared February as Black Legacy Month, a celebration and recognition of the struggles, successes, and contributions of Black Americans throughout history. The proclamation reads in part: “The legacy of Black and African American leadership has long been a bedrock of Buncombe County, including at Stephens-Lee High School, the 'Castle on the Hill' that annually served approximately 900 Black students, where Elynora M. Foster was a member of the faculty and was known as the first African American woman in Asheville to receive a masters degree.” You can read the entire proclamation here.

If you are interested in learning more about Black Legacy Month, check out some upcoming events at County libraries. For additional information on the County’s work on equity and inclusion, visit our Equity & Human Rights Office website.

Financial quarterly report

Commissioner received an update on fiscal year 2024’s second quarter, which ended on Dec. 31, 2023. Some highlights from the financial report include:

General Fund Revenues:

  • Budget of $436.1 million, which includes $24.3 million of appropriated fund balance.
  • Actuals year to date total $246.7 million, which is 60% of the amended budget and 6.9% greater than the same time prior year.
  • Prior year actuals totaled $230.7 million.
  • Current year increase in revenues is primarily driven by the one-cent increase on property tax.
  • Property tax collections make up $188.2 million, or 76.3%, of revenues.

General Fund Expenditures:

  • Budget of $436.1 million.
  • Actuals year to date total $207.0 million, which is 47.5% of the amended budget and 7.9% greater than the same time prior year.
  • Prior year actuals totaled $191.8 million.
  • Current year increase in expenditures is primarily driven by an increase in personnel costs to support the rising cost of living.

County Capital Projects:

  • Multi-year project life-to-date budget of $143.8 million.
  • Life-to-date expenditures total $47.2 million, or 32.8% of budget.
  • Due to the long-term nature of capital projects, a significant portion of expenditures may not occur in the year the budget was established

The County has also realized $3.4 million in interest income (year-to-date) with $162.9 million in assets under management. 

You can read the entire report here.

CDBG-NR quarterly update

Commissioners also received an update on Community Development Block Grant Neighborhood Revitalization (CDBG-NR) funding from the NC Department of Commerce. The $400,000 will be utilized for home repairs and prioritize repairs up to $30,000 per home. The project is currently in the contracting stage with Asheville-Area Habitat for Humanity, which will manage the home repair program.

The next stage of the process is for the selection committee to pick eligible homes. The goal is to help more than 40 low- and moderate-income homeowners. You can read more about this project here.

East Valley rezoning request

Commissioners approved rezoning .99 acres located at 1700 and 1702 Tunnel Road from R-2 Residential to EMP Employment. The rezoned properties are already adjacent to EMP zoning and the County’s Planning Board voted to recommended approval of the rezoning request. You can read more about the rezoning request and see a map of the rezoned properties here.

Resolution of intent to donate surplus property

Commissioners are helping expand access to broadband internet by approving the donation of used laptops to the Land of Sky Regional Council. The donated laptops were previously used by employees and scheduled to be sold at auction. Recent data states more than 10% of the County’s population lacks access to devices that help them connect to the internet, do schoolwork, search for jobs, and more. The County believes partnering with Land of Sky Regional Council’s laptop refurbishment program is a great way to further digital equity. You can read more here.

Budget amendment for Lakeshore Villa project

The Lakeshore Villas is a bond-funded project being built by local nonprofit Mountain Housing Opportunities. The development is set to provide 120 affordable apartments in Arden. Commissioners approved giving the project an additional $299,702 in bond proceeds to help complete construction, which brings the total amount of bond funding to $3,618,318. The additional funding will be used to cover costs incurred due to timeline constraints on clearing trees imposed by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers due to the potential impact of federally endangered species. You can read more about the project here.


Filter News:

Translate Options

Article Information

Updated Feb 23, 2024 03:29 PM
Published Feb 20, 2024 06:20 PM

Previous Article: Protect Kids, Yourself, and Loved Ones from Measles and Other Diseases: Get Vaccinated
Next Article: Buncombe Treatment Court Donations Help Women in Need