Leslee Kulba

ARPA Funds Balance Asheville Budget

As is to be expected, public comment on the City of Asheville's FY2022-2023 budget showed little fiscal restraint. People came ready to ask for more, but now Councilwoman Kim Roney has joined Councilwoman Gwen Wisler in realizing funding is finite.

Government Giveth & Government Driveth Up

Members of Asheville City Council are determined to use the force of government to create more affordable housing. They are even investing in a "missing middle" study to find out if what builders and businesspeople have been telling them for years: Regulations come with costs of compliance.

Mission Hospital May Face Competition

As HCA's Mission Hospital expands, a new competitor considers entering the healthcare market in Western North Carolina.

Buncombe Reimagines Budgeting

Buncombe County is proposing holding the tax rate flat while floating bonds and searching out other source of revenue to fund extracurricular activities for government, like building affordable housing and zeroing out the human carbon footprint.

Kilgore: Road Diet One-Sided

Asheville City Councilwoman Sandra Kilgore said the process for deciding to proceed with the Merrimon Avenue road diet provided no opportunity for alternative viewpoints. She feared turning Merrimon into a three-lane road would result in traffic jams that would be bad for business.

Transit Dominating Budget Discussion

Asheville City Councilwoman Kim Roney dominated the budget discussion with demands for more funding for transit and reparations and a request to freeze ten positions in the police department.

Low Income Housing Tax Credits: Who Benefits?

At least according to one analysis, which follows logic, Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, like most government programs for building affordable housing, increase construction costs.

Reimagine Deaverview Tugs City Budget

David Nash, executive director of the Housing Authority of the City of Asheville, made three appearances before city council in one night. Most significantly, he wanted the city to make up for the county’s shortfall and contribute a total of $1.465 million in affordable housing bond revenues to leverage 9% Low-Income Housing Tax Credits.

Homelessness Up, Crime Down

The COVID era was a time of pivoting for agencies caring for the homeless. Despite millions in federal funding, with innovations in non congregate care, and growth in permanent supportive housing, the local homeless population increased 21% from January 2021 to January 2022.

Commissioners Puzzle Over Gov. Funds

The Buncombe County Commissioners flexed their powers to spend federal money on affordable housing and Pre-K, local taxpayer dollars on an aggressive bond program for affordable housing & green spaces, as well as tourists' dollars on basic government services.