The Wild West
JLF Western N.C. Blog
The Buncombe County Commissioners held their annual retreat today. It was very business-like, and not full of the touchy-feely pipe dream stuff that permeates Asheville City Council retreats. Following are some hot topics:
- Reportedly, two schools are in horrible repair. Asheville City Schools does not have the funding to fix them. The county must identify a new revenue stream. Kay Ray Bailey noted the modicum of lottery funds coming to the schools. Buncombe County Schools will get $1.6 million, and Asheville Schools $200,000. He asked where the “billions and billions” of dollars are going and wondered aloud if the lottery department was being audited. People replied seriously that all was in order, and Bailey said he was only joking.
- The county would like to charge garbage collection as a household assessment. Assistant County Manager Jon Creighton explained only about half of Buncombe County residents subscribed to the county’s waste hauling program. That begged the question of what everybody else was doing with their trash. Creighton said before the road closed behind the courthouse, he would watch a nonstop stream of illegal dumpers. The schools have their dumpsters filled twelve months a year. Some people just throw it down a hillside or leave it to explode on the highway, causing the county to dispatch cleaning crews. Creighton estimated the cost of driving to the landfill every week would be more than an annual assessment of around $14.
- The county is going to look into implementing an inclusionary zoning policy. Commissioners thought the action would be long overdue. So far, only eight jurisdictions in the state have active policies. Bailey wanted to know how the policies were impacting the housing market. Creighton said he could not give a fair assessment, because of the economy. (He did not say one reason the economy is so deplorable is rotten policies that make developers build at a loss.)
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