The Cherokee were the first people to inhabit what is now known as Buncombe County before its official incorporation in 1792. During their meeting on Nov. 21, 2023, Commissioners declared November as Native American Heritage Month.
The proclamation reads in part: “The area currently known as Buncombe County rests on land that was first inhabited by the Cherokee People, who flourished here for thousands of years, as well as the Catawba People. The Cherokee People endure to this day, having survived catastrophic diseases, loss of their ancestral lands, forced relocation to a reservation, long-term mismanagement at the reservation, family separations through the removal of children to boarding schools, and termination… We seek to repair the trauma of past oppression and broken trust—both locally and regionally—by lifting up indigenous cultures and voices and striving together to build a future of shared hope and promise for all.”
You can read the entire proclamation here. To learn more about the history of Native Americans in Buncombe County and how the Cherokee Nation eventually lost its land to the United States, view this interactive story map via the As Long As the Grass Shall Grow project.
Waste Pro contract
Commissioners approved putting the Buncombe County’s trash and recycling service out to bid. Waste Pro was seeking a contract extension along with a rate increase for 2024. Waste Pro cites several reasons for its need to increase rates such as increased costs for trucks, fuel, and labor. Waste Pro has been collecting trash and recycling since 2009, with the current contract starting on Jan. 1, 2020. Waste Pro cites several reasons for its need to increase rates such as increased costs for trucks, fuel, and labor. The current price for Waste Pro’s service is $22.55 per month and the increase would bring it to $25.16 per month starting on Jan. 1, 2024.
The timeframe for bidding will be about four to five months from putting out the bid to coming back to Commissioners for a decision. “It’s not about a dissatisfaction with Waste Pro. This is a tough business and there are always issues from time to time. A majority of constituents are happy… But the increases are significant,” noted Commission Chair Brownie Newman. Commissioners will discuss requirements for trash and recycling services in December before making the bid public. You can view Waste Pro’s presentation to Commissioners here.
AHS baseball lights
Commissioners approved $330,000 in state lottery funding for Asheville High School to add lights to its baseball field. The project first came before Commissioners in March when they approved submitting it to the Public School Building Capital Fund, which works with initiatives funded by the NC Education Lottery. You can view the budget amendment here.
Written by Buncombe County.