No decision for Black Mountain project proposals in county's 2nd round of relief funding

Ezra Maille
Black Mountain News
The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners announced a second round of relief funding on Nov. 16 without mention of Black Mountain project proposals.

The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners announced allocating $11 million in the second round of distributing COVID-19 relief funding on Nov. 16.

"Nobody outside of the Asheville city limits received funding," said Sharon Tabor, the executive director of the Black Mountain Swannanoa Chamber of Commerce. 

This latest allocation of American Rescue Plan Act funding will be directed to support "families, public safety, aid to local businesses, affordable housing initiatives and more," according to a statement from the county. 

The main recipients of the second round of funding were affordable housing groups Mountain Housing Opportunities and Habitat for Humanity, receiving $2.5 million and $1.6 million respectively. 

Here are all the recipients, as categorized by the county.

Public health

  • RHA Health Services, All Access to Care: $1,300,000
  • Buncombe County Community Paramedic Collaborative: $1,074,873

Negative economic impacts

  • Asheville Area Arts Council, Creative Sector Recovery: $50,000
  • Asheville Museum of Science, AMOS Recovery Plan: $130,000
  • Babies Need Bottoms, Diaper Assistance: $50,000
  • Eagle Market Streets Development, Community Equity Fund: $375,000
  • Green Built Alliance, Clean Energy Upgrades: $250,000
  • Mountain BizWorks, Mountain Community Capital Fund: $1,250,000
  • The Arc of Buncombe County, I/DD Household Assistance: $50,000
  • We Give a Share, Southside Community Kitchen: $160,000
  • Working Wheels, Affordable Vehicle Repairs: $92,400
  • Disproportionately impacted communities
  • Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity, Infrastructure: $1,600,000
  • Buncombe County Home Repair & Supportive Services: $400,000
  • Mountain Child Advocacy Center, Child Trauma Response: $262,500
  • Mountain Housing Opportunities, Recovery Starts at Home: $2,545,231
  • The Mediation Center, Continuum of Victims’ Services: $1,000,000

Infrastructure

  • Land of Sky Regional Council, Internet Access & Literacy: $445,000

In the first two rounds of funding, services for minority communities and other groups considered to be disproportionately impacted were prioritized, receiving $5.8 million, with another $2.4 million going to a variety of businesses and residents impacted by the economic downturn. An additional $2.4 million was allocated for public health projects and $445,000 went to broadband internet. 

In the first round of funding, after receiving community input and roughly 150 project proposals, the Board of Commissioners allocated just over $11 million on Aug. 31.

The Black Mountain Swannanoa Chamber of Commerce submitted a proposal in September for investing in a capital improvement project to purchase property downtown. This project would allow the chamber to create a new location closer to the downtown businesses it supports as well as make the visitor center a base for the Black Mountain greenways. 

"That did not make the second cut of funding," Tabor said.

The county commissioners will announce the funding balance in May, according to Tabor. She said the chamber, as well as other businesses that have submitted proposals, will learn then if their projects have been approved. 

Joel Burgess contributed to this story.