The music inside Wells Event and Reception Center is noticeably different than next door at Wells Funeral Home.
Instead of reflective classical, the speakers hum with smooth jazz.
After oscillating on how much money to give Folkmoot USA during annual budget machinations last month, Waynesville town leaders have revisited the issue and upwardly revised their contribution.
Folkmoot historically got $10,000 to help with its general operating costs. But town leaders initially decided to cut that funding — in exchange for a $25,000 grant toward Folkmoot’s goal of transforming its headquarters at the old Hazelwood Elementary School to a year-round community center.
Austin Fore calls it “a blessing.”
“If I’m not there every other day I’m bummed,” the Clyde skateboarder said.
A major motion picture starring Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis, Kristen Wiig and others will be partly filmed at a Waynesville location in mid-July.
To some, they might seem like pet projects, budgetary fat in tough times, or frivolous earmarks.
But Waynesville leaders are defending $100,000 in annual contributions to a slate of 30 nonprofit organizations as a form of economic development, community advancement and social uplift.
Lake Junaluska’s bid to merge with the town of Waynesville flickered to life in the state legislature last week after languishing in political purgatory for the past year.
What began as a vision to convert a shutdown state prison in Waynesville into a halfway house, homeless shelter and soup kitchen has spiraled into a larger vision of transforming society one life at a time.
Saddled by a higher cost of doing business and hits to its bottom line, Waynesville aldermen were poised to pass a three-cent property tax increase this week, the town’s first in over a decade.
Nonetheless, the town’s total budget for the coming year will still shrink slightly — dropping from $30 million to $29.7 million.
A group of vacant, ramshackle buildings at an anchor intersection on South Main Street in Waynesville has been purchased, signaling continued revitalization could be in store for the rag-tag corridor.
Waynesville leaders will face a tough choice in coming weeks: either raise the property tax rate by 3 cents or cut town services and amenities.
That’s the message Town Manager Marcy Onieal shared with Waynesville aldermen at a budget workshop last week.