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Legislative delegation announces $292 million in WNC spending
By Bill Moss, Published: November 25, 2021
Henderson County's legislative delegation is praising the newly adopted state budget for appropriating almost $300 million for Western North Carolina counties.
State Sen. Chuck Edwards and Reps. Tim Moffitt and Rep. Jake Johnson announced in a news release that $292.2 million of funding from the recently enacted state budget will be coming back to Western North Carolina.
“I am thrilled to have earned the role of chairman of an appropriations committee from where I could partner with Rep. Moffitt and Rep. Johnson to ensure our WNC voice was heard loud and clear. This budget echos our voices," Edwards said.
Moffit added: "Conservative reform, including prudent spending and lower taxes, has supercharged North Carolina's economy-even through the pandemic. This budget builds upon that success and guarantees we are financially prepared for the future, whatever it might hold."
On the state level, they noted, the budget:
- Lowers personal and corporate income taxes
- Exempts military pension income from state income tax
- Sets aside a record amount of state savings, now $4.25 billion
- Raises teacher pay effectively by about 7%
- Significantly improves school choice for families
- Adds $1.5 billion above the base budget in recurring funds for K-12 education
- Invests $1 billion for broadband expansion
- Provides $1.7 billion for water and sewer infrastructure
- Invests $2.8 million in election cyber security
- Includes $100 million in recurring funds for a new state-funded teacher salary supplement for lower-wealth counties to help them recruit and retain high-quality teachers. Henderson, Transylvania, and Polk counties will benefit.
The compromise state budget reflects considerable concessions to Democrats.
"When I ran for office, I made a commitment to fight for western North Carolina and make sure we were not forgotten in Raleigh," Johnson said. "With the passage of this budget, that promise was kept. Our communities will see historic investment and our citizens will be able to keep more of their hard-earned money. I along with Sen. Chuck Edwards and Rep. Tim Moffitt will continue addressing the needs of our region and fighting for you in Raleigh so our communities can prosper for years to come."
Conservation spending includes $17.3 million for the Farmland Preservation Trust Fund, $91 million for the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund and $100 million for the Clean Water Management Trust Fund.
Other appropriations in the $292,223,183 total across Western North Caroloina:
- Warren Wilson College grant, $252,500 Buncombe
- Montreat College COVID-19 response grant, $434,448 Buncombe
- AB Tech Pratt Whitney training facility; $5,000,000 Buncombe
- UNCA undergrad student enrollment and success funding, debt reduction, scholarships; $10,000,000 Buncombe
- MAHEC new parking deck; 10,500,000 Buncombe
- Pisgah View State Park for accelerated purchase, renovations, and opening plan; $12,200,000 Buncombe
- Montreat College new cybersecurity program; $30,000,000 Buncombe
- I-26 interchange to complete commitment to secure Pratt & Whitney economic development project; $30,000,000 Buncombe
- Henderson County will receive a Deputy Clerk of Court position; $40,000 Henderson
- Crossnore School & Children's Home grant; $67,000 Henderson
- Flat Rock Playhouse grant; $100,000 Henderson
- Hendersonville Rescue Mission is eligible for a grant to address human trafficking; $125,385 Henderson
- Green River paddle trail access grant; $150,000 Henderson
- Henderson/Transylvania/Polk counties, district court judge; $174,000.
- Henderson County local Health Department grant; $190,747 Henderson
- City of Hendersonville capital project; $250,000 Henderson
- Blue Ridge Community College public safety training center equipment; $250,000 Henderson/Transylvania
- Lake Hosea dam repair; 300,000 Henderson
- Blue Ridge Community College Skilled Trade program start-up funding; $300,000 Henderson/Transylvania
- Laurel Park stream restoration; $317,000 Henderson
- Ecusta Trail Greenway grant; $600,000 Henderson/Transylvania
- Dupont State Forest visioning plan; $750,000 Henderson/Transylvania
- Henderson County teacher salary supplements; $826,979 Henderson
- Henderson County Bat Fork Stream restoration; $950,000 Henderson
- Henderson County French Broad River restoration; $1,000,000 Henderson
- First Contact Ministries for a new substance abuse treatment center; $1,500,000 Henderson
- Henderson County access to One NC economic development funding; $3,000,000 Henderson
- City of Hendersonville for wastewater plant upgrade; $5,000,000 Henderson
- WNC High Hazard Dam repair or removal; $7,200,000 WNC
- Polk County teacher salary supplements; $357,085 Polk
- Lake Adger Dam repair; $6,500,000 Polk
- Town of Tryon water/sewer project; $425,000 Polk
- City of Saluda water/sewer project; $160,000 Polk
- Brevard Station Museum grant; 10,000 Transylvania
- Transylvania County local Health Department Grant; $120,101 Transylvania
- City of Brevard capital project; $125,000 Transylvania
- Transylvania County capital project; $125,000 Transylvania
- Transylvania County Schools for Smart School Bus pilot program; $309,500 Transylvania
- Transylvania County teacher salary supplements; $319,538 Transylvania
- Brevard College COVID-19 response grant; $417,061 Transylvania
- Muddy Sneakers outdoor science education program; $500,000 Transylvania
- City of Brevard capital project; $700,000 Transylvania
- Transylvania County for Water/Sewer Project; $7,000,000 Transylvania
- Dept. of Agriculture Soil & Water scientist, Fletcher, NC; $74,000 WNC
- WNC recreational water quality testing recurring appropriation; $200,000 WNC
- WNC landslide mapping; $369,721 WNC
- WNC Crime Lab additional scientist; $403,118 WNC
- WNC Ag Center grant; $2,030,000 WNC
- WNC Disaster Relief for crop loss, home and bridge repair, cleanup resulting from Tropical Storm Fred; $150,000,000 WNC
- Restoration of Hemlocks infected by woolly adelgid; 600,000 WNC
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