House GOP majority could target Social Security, Medicare

The life story of Hendersonville resident Marge Cullen isn’t much different than that of many other retirement-aged Americans.

Haywood budget shows staffing needs, rising costs

As the completion of Haywood County’s 2022-23 budget draws near, it’s becoming apparent that inflation, the tight labor market and ever-increasing health care costs are conspiring against the county to the point of potentially impacting staffing, especially in public safety.

HCS budgets for declining student population

During the COVID-19 pandemic, North Carolina schools did not incur budget cuts due to lower student populations across the board. Now, as the pandemic takes a backseat in the daily lives of many, schools are being held to accountable for their actual per diem numbers. For Haywood County Schools, this means there is less money available.

Schools need funds to grow creative thinkers

By Sandra Hayes • Guest Columnist | I volunteer with QuickDraw of WNC, an art auction where artists step up to help put supplies on classroom shelves in our public schools. We’re raising money right now.

Revenue short for Sylva’s 2021 budget

When the Sylva town board met for its annual budget brainstorming session in January, members had no problem dreaming big about the upcoming fiscal year. A Main Street director, multi-use trails on the Blackrock Creek property, a public bathroom downtown and an all-terrain vehicle for police use all found their place on the wish list. 

Budget decrease projected for Jackson

At $66.5 million, Jackson County’s proposed budget for 2020-21 includes a 1.34 percent decrease from the 2019-20 amended budget and a recommendation to re-evaluate various sections of the document come January. The tax rate, however, will remain level at 38 cents per $100 of property value. 

Maggie Valley maintains tax rate despite revenue drop

Maggie Valley is projecting a more than 16 percent decline in revenue for the 2020-21 fiscal year due to the shutdown caused by the COVID 19 crisis.

Haywood County government, schools scale back budget proposals

Every year around this time, local governments, community colleges and public schools are busy crafting budgets for the upcoming fiscal year that begins on July 1. In a normal year, budgeting is a year round process, however this is anything but a normal year.

Free at a cost: Entrance fee prohibition creates challenges for the Smokies

Growing up in West Asheville, Daniel Pierce was a frequent visitor to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The park was — and still is — free to enter, and to Pierce that was normal. 

“I’ll never forget the first time I went in a national park that charged an entrance fee,” said Pierce, who now holds a doctorate and is a history professor at the University of North Carolina Asheville who specializes in Smokies history. “I was just horrified by the thought that you would have to pay to go into a national park.”

Haywood Commissioners decry cuts to mental health funding

The need for mental health, substance use disorder and intellectual/developmental disabilities resources in North Carolina is growing, but funding is not. In fact, another massive cut is on the horizon, and Haywood’s government and non-profit communities aren’t happy about it. 

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