Filed under: City Departments
One retired and two current Public Works employees were recognized by the North Carolina Chapter of the American Public Works Association’s North Carolina chapter for outstanding service and the pursuit of excellence at Asheville City Council’s July 22 meeting.
Public Works Administrative Assistant Kathi Willis was recognized with the Association’s President’s Award for her dedication to the Association and “her continuing efforts and work with the North Carolina Chapter Executive Board.” This is the second time Willis’ efforts have been recognized with this award, having won it previously in 2010. Chapter President Russell Byrd cited her character, organizational skills, her willingness to go beyond what is expected and her incredible ability to keep the chapter “on-task and in-line.”
Willis has worked at the City of Asheville since 1991 and took over the role of the APWA-NC Chapter secretary in 2008.
“Kathi Willis is a true professional in every sense of the word,” Byrd told Council. “Without Kathi’s invaluable contributions our chapter would not and could not be one of the finest in the association.”
The Association also recognized Construction Inspector Lee Morrison with the Association’s Municipal Employee Scholarship. Morrison works with the Capital Projects Management (Engineering) Division and has been with the City of Asheville since 2006. He has been attending classes to advance his knowledge of service and excellence and is nearing completion of coursework to earn the designation of NC Road Scholar, a program offered through the Institute of Transportation, Research and Education. In addition to his studies and workload, he is also a lieutenant at a local volunteer fire department and an Eagle Scout.
Lyle Willis, retired from the city’s Public Works Department, was awarded the Jean Seals Service Award, given in recognition for contributions by non-members for their support of the Association. Mr. Willis, husband of Kathi Willis, was cited for his attendance at APWA-NC events and his support of Kathi in her role.
All three were presented their awards at the 57th annual Conference of the American Public Works Association, North Carolina Chapter in June.
Click below to see the presentation to Asheville City Council.
July 25, 2014
On Monday, July 21, work will begin on the Craven Street improvement project in west Asheville, a long-term enhancement that will include multi-modal roadway improvements including pedestrian and bike facilities, stormwater Best Management Practices and stream restoration, low impact parking and greenway construction and water line improvements. See background on this project at the City of Asheville Project Page.
The duration of the project will last from July 21, 2014 through December of 2015. The majority of the roadway work will take place during the next 6 months. As this is an active construction project, there will be heavy construction equipment in the area for the duration of the project.
During the remainder of July and the beginning of August, work will focus on clearing and grubbing activities, placement of the stormwater conveyance systems and other utilities, and existing asphalt removal. The project also involves a comprehensive improvement to the unnamed creek that starts along Waynesville Avenue and drains through the New Belgium Brewery site into the French Broad River.
Full road closures are not expected during this initial phase of the project, though delays and lane closures can be anticipated. Travelers are advised to use alternate routes where possible.
Beginning August 25, work will expand into roadway culvert improvements with Craven Street closed in the direction Haywood Road for the duration of work, which is expected to last until the end of September.
The Craven Street improvement project is located in the area surrounding the New Belgium Brewery construction site and is the City of Asheville’s portion in a public-private partnership with The State of North Carolina, North Carolina Golden Leaf Foundation, NCDOT, Clean Water Management Trust Fund, Buncombe County, the Economic Development Administration, and the Asheville–Buncombe Economic Development Coalition and others in support of New Belgium Brewing’s investment of $175 million in our community.
July 18, 2014
It’s sign up time! July 1 marks the beginning of the City of Asheville’s 90-day graffiti removal assistance program, and property owners are now encouraged to call, email or use the Asheville App to sign up for up to $500 in removal assistance.
The cleanup assistance program runs through September 30, with a goal of removing as much graffiti from Asheville as possible in that time.
Here’s how property owners can report graffiti and sign up for removal assistance:
Use the Asheville App (ashevillenc.gov/ashevilleapp), email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (828) 259-5960.
City staff will visit the site and estimate the cost of removal
The property owner signs a waiver and agrees to pay all costs over the City’s $500 investment ($500 per building per incident)
The City contacts a pre-qualified contractor to remove graffiti, who will aim to remove graffiti within 48 hours
The City pays the contractor and bills the property owner for any amount over $500
After September 30, property owners will be responsible for removing graffiti from their property within seven days. At the request of property owners, the city will coordinate cleanup with a pre-qualified contractor, but the property owner will be responsible for the entire cleanup cost. That’s why getting on the list for the 90-day removal assistance program is such a great opportunity for property owners!
“We know that quick removal is one of the best deterrents to vandalism,” said Cathy Ball, the city’s Executive Director of Planning and Multimodal Transportation. “That’s why the goal of the 90-day assistance program is to remove graffiti throughout the city and get us back to a baseline. Working together as a community, we can make a real impact on graffiti vandalism.”
This is the second step of the 123 Graffiti Free initiative directed at a comprehensive approach to tackling graffiti. The first step took place in April, when Asheville City Council passed new civil fines for offenders.
Graffiti hurts the community, businesses and business growth. It reduces property values and can lead to increased crime activity. Report graffiti vandalism in progress by calling 911. To report graffiti vandalism on city-owned property, call (828) 252-1110 or use the Asheville App. To report tagging in Buncombe County, call (828) 250-6670.
Find more information about Asheville’s 123 Graffiti Free Initiative on the Projects Page.
July 11, 2014
The Asheville Police Department is now inviting residents to apply for the fall semester of its Citizens Police Academy.
This free program gives participants insight into the philosophy and policies that govern the APD’s service to the community. The class is designed to give residents an appreciation for the problems and challenges facing law enforcement, as well as an up-close opportunity to offer insights, ideas, and solutions.
Classes begin on September 4th at 5:30 p.m. at the police department.
The academy lasts for 12 consecutive weeks, with three-hour classes held on Thursdays. The final day of the class is a graduation ceremony.
The course consists of basic classroom instruction, presentations, and demonstrations on topics such as criminal investigations, constitutional and criminal law, use of force, departmental structure, and defensive tactics.
Participants will also be able to ride with police officers on patrol.
Those wishing to participate must apply and be accepted. For more information on the academy, contact Officer Keith McCulloch at 259-5834 or e-mail him at email@example.com.
July 10, 2014
We are excited to announce that the city’s Economic Development Specialist Brenda Mills will be a featured speaker for several free information sessions hosted by RiverLink focusing on opportunities for artists to contract with the City of Asheville. Brenda works in the city’s Office of Economic Development and focuses much of her energy on informing community members about contracting opportunities with the city.
“This is about engagement and interaction,” Mills says. “Asheville has a vital arts economy and we want everyone to know about every opportunity that is available to them.”
Here’s the full announcement from RiverLink:
CALLING ALL ARTISTS: LEARN HOW TO BE A CITY ART CONTRACTOR
Join RiverLink and Brenda Mills to find out how as an artist you can become a contractor for the city. We are pleased to offer these special two hour interactive FREE information sessions at RiverLink’s Warehouse Studios, 170 Lyman Street from 10 to 12 starting on July 24 subsequent programs will be held on August 26, September 25, October 29, November 17 and January 29. Reservations are a must so make your by calling RiverLink at 828-252-8474, ext 10.
Brenda Mills is an Economic Development Specialist with the Office of Economic Development for the City of Asheville. Brenda has been in Western North Carolina (WNC) since 1992 working in the public sector for over 23 years with an emphasis on entrepreneurship supporting both Buncombe County and the City of Asheville’s initiative on minority business & community outreach. She served eight (8) years on the Asheville Regional Housing Consortium as the city’s representative and recently joined the Land of Sky Regional Council’s board as minority representative for Buncombe County.
She currently works on economic initiatives to include minority business outreach for all city contracting, public art acquisition which includes staff liaison to the Public Art & Cultural Commission, and works with the city’s current and future incentives supporting job growth and increasing tax base for the City. Brenda has worked extensively in WNC with other business assistance agencies, colleges, universities and non-profits to support a vibrant region with such efforts as Minority Enterprise Development Week, the City’s Reverse Vendor Fair, community visioning in the French Broad and East End neighborhoods and recommendation and implementation of the city’s living wage policy.
This next phase of training artists on how to be public artists is to increase and encourage a greater response to the city’s future calls for artists on future public projects. This free training will highlight an actual call for artist process, general overview of public contracting basics, resources and how to connect.
RiverLink’s popular Wilma Dykeman RiverWay plans call for economic development that focus on the core strengths in our watershed – recreation in all its forms from manufacturing to retail, health & wellness and arts and crafts. This is part of series of business topics RiverLink is proud to host which include a partnership with SBTDC and the AB Tech small business council, among others.
For more information contact RiverLink at 828-252-8474, ext 16. or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 9, 2014
The Asheville Police Department’s development of a strategic operations plan for 2014-2017 reaches a new milestone as the department prepares to introduce its three-year plan to the community. The Strategic Operations Plan is a proactive tool intended to deliver guidance and structure for the department to continually improve its service to the citizens of Asheville.
Now, you can see the APD Strategic Operations Plan, background on the development process and upcoming steps in its implementation at ashevillenc.gov/projects.
The SOP development process began in 2013, with the recognition of the need for a roadmap for the department as it heads into the future. Since then, an ongoing input process that includes members of the public, stakeholders, the Citizens Police Advisory Committee, and police department employees, has provided the framework for a successful blueprint.
“Our plan not only serves as the foundation for how we will provide police services in the future, but also serves as the department’s vehicle for establishing a shared vision as a unified department,” said APD Chief William Anderson.
Anderson will present the Strategic Operations Plan to the public at a series of meetings, beginning with a July 17 meeting at the Public Works facility at 161 S. Charlotte St. The community is encouraged to attend to learn how public input was integrated into the plan and participate in the next steps for strengthening the partnership between the department and the community. The meeting will take place from 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
“We knew from the beginning that the public’s involvement would be crucial to creating a successful plan,” Anderson said. “We are looking forward to presenting this plan and continuing the dialog with the community.”
July 7, 2014
The latest section of sidewalk in a network of sidewalks serving North Louisiana Avenue is under construction as crews begin pouring concrete on the 800 linear feet linkage. The sidewalk project is the fifth in a planned six sections totaling 5,580 linear feet that create a safe pedestrian corridor from Patton Avenue to just past Emma Elementary School.
Economic investment in sidewalks connects communities and the North Louisiana sidewalks make the neighborhood safer for pedestrians, giving students and parents at Emma Elementary the option to walk from nearby homes. They also encourage economic growth by providing access to business corridors like Patton Avenue for customers and employees alike.
“The residents, business owners and property owners in this area have been amazingly supportive of this project,” said Senior Project Manager John Gavin. “And they contributed to its success by donating the necessary construction easements we needed for completion.”
This linkage from North Louisiana Business Park to the city limits at Skyview Terrace is funded by Community Development Block Grant Funds with the cooperation of the NCDOT, which owns and maintains North Louisiana Avenue. The linkage is anticipated to be completed by early August, 2014.
Other sections of sidewalk on North Louisiana Avenue utilized a combination of Safe Routes to Schools funding, federal CDBG funds and a Job Access/Reverse Commute grant through the Federal Transit Administration.
Completed sidewalk construction on Patton Avenue were paid for with City of Asheville capital improvement project funds.
June 25, 2014
In a ceremony at Asheville City Hall Thursday, Asheville Police Chief Willam Anderson announced the promotion of officer Evan Coward to the rank of Sergeant.
Coward is an eight-year veteran on the APD and has served as a Community Resource Officer for the South/Central district since 2007. His work as a CRO and his contributions to the improvement of neighborhoods there earned him much support in the communities he serves.
“He’s been one of the finest, dedicated individuals I’ve worked with in some time,” Andserson said.
Alongside Coward’s friends and family, Thursday’s ceremony was attended by members of the community, fellow APD officers, city staff and elected officials.
June 20, 2014
The Asheville Fire Department is proud to announce the promotions of three of its Chief Officers into key leadership positions.
Wayne Hamilton and Barry Hendren have each been promoted to the position of Assistant Fire Chief, and Chris Budzinski will now serve as Deputy Fire Chief.
left to right: Assistant Fire Chief Hendren, Assistant Fire Chief Hamilton, Deputy Fire Chief Budzinski
“We are very excited about the new leadership team, and anticipate they will serve the City of Asheville Fire Department well in moving it forward to the next level,” said AFD Chief Scott Burnette. “Each of these chief officers brings to the table a diverse set of skills and abilities that will add to the continuous improvement of the department and contribute to the service of this community.”
Wayne Hamilton has been with the department since 1989, has 20 years’ experience as Fire Marshal. Barry Hendren, also with the department since 1989, most recently served as Division Chief-Safety and Training. Chris Budzinski has been with the department since 2001, and prior to promotion served as Acting Divison Chief.
All three underwent specialized training and a rigorous examination and performance review process including interviews with internal and external stakeholders and city department heads, as well as a performance review by their peers.
June 19, 2014
Asheville’s riverfront is experiencing some of the most energetic growth and economic renewal in the city, and it’s not just limited to the River Arts District. New businesses in Biltmore Station and Biltmore Village, new homes in Kenilworth, Oakley and Tunnel Road, and the city’s infrastructure and flood mitigation improvement project at Azalea Road are indicators of growth in the Swannanoa River Corridor. Each month, the City of Asheville holds an open house at City Hall to encourage the sharing of information on riverfront developments between the city, residents, and private businesses. This month, staff will focus on the Swannanoa River Corridor.
Asheville’s river corridor as depicted in the Wilma Dykeman RiverWay plan
The open houses are held every third Thursday on the 5th floor of City Hall, and residents, property owners, entrepreneurs or anyone interested in the future of the river corridor are invited to attend. City staff and members of the Asheville Area Riverfront Redevelopment Commission are on hand to answer questions and also to hear from members of the public. Each month has a special focus area, but conversation is not limited to that topic.
“These open houses are an excellent time to hear from the community about what they think is important to pay attention to as this area moves forward,” said Urban Planner Steph Monson Dahl. “This kind of interaction really helps us, residents, and the private sector visualize the kind of change that is going on in the corridor.”
The next Riverfront Open house will be held Thursday, June 19 from 3-5 p.m. For more information, contact Steph Monson Dahl at email@example.com or
June 17, 2014