Asheville City Council passed the city managers recommended budget with a 6 to 1 vote.
The $217 million budget is based on internal work, community input and council priorities, and reflects the long term strategies and continuation of the reimagining public safety process.
The budget includes no change to the current property tax rate of 40.30 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.
City staff continued to use the same guiding principles as recent years: 1) Essential service delivery, 2) Enhancing customer value, and 3) Strategic alignment in the development of the budget.
In March, city council members identified six key priorities to invest in for the upcoming year. In addition to on-going funding for numerous services and programs linked to council priorities, below are additional investments that are included in the balanced budget:
$500,000 allocation in this budget, bringing the total available budget for reparations to $2.2 million.
An on-going planned annual allocation of $500,000 in future budgets.
Improve and expand core services
Funds employee compensation adjustments
Ensures all full-time employees earn at least $35,360 annually, with an additional adjustment in January 2023 to $36,816 annually including adjustments for compression.
Provide all other staff who do not receive an adjustment under the previous two items a 5.0% increase if hired on or before December 31, 2021 or a 2.5% increase if hired after that date.
Increase in transit vendor contract to increase pay by $2 to retain and recruit transit employees
Additional funding for traffic sign and pavement markings
New positions and operational improvements
HR information system software
Web based budget document
Sanitation and waste reduction (covered by fee increase)
Emergency preparedness planning will improve the city’s response to, recovery from, and resilience against disasters, emergencies and other hazards.
Disparity study required to maintain legal authority for the city’s race and gender conscious procurement policy.
Reimagining Public Safety
Funds a new Emergency Medical Technicians pay supplement for staff who have this certification.
Funds installation/replacement of two-three camera systems per year in recreation centers.
911 consolidation with Buncombe County to enhance safety and expand opportunities for alternate response methods through consolidated training and procedures.
Equitable and Affordable Housing and Stability
One-time funding to complete a missing middle housing study.
Funding to continue the city’s participation in the county’s Homeowner Grant Program to minimize the impact of increased taxes on qualified property owners.
Addition of a new Homelessness Strategy Project Specialist to develop and implement strategies to alleviate homelessness and provide technical assistance to community partners.
Funds Code Purple sheltering.
Provides funding to the Parks and Recreation Department to relocate their parks maintenance operation from the East End/Valley Street neighborhood.
Funds an Urban Forestry position to enhance staff capacity and professional expertise to implement the Tree Canopy Protection Ordinance Amendment.
Additional funding to continue and expand after school programs at Recreation Centers.
Utilize ARPA funds in the CIP for completion of the Memorial Stadium project.
Budgeted for improvements at the Municipal Golf Course.
To take a look back at the budget development process including videos and presentations, visit the Budget Process page.