|Castle and Eggers last night|
As a result of those well attended forums, the dormant Watauga County Community Housing Trust was reactivated with County Planner Joe Furman serving on the board of directors. Furman initiated discussions with the UNC School of Government's Development Finance Initiative (DFI), which is charged with helping counties with economic development projects.
The DFI subsequently presented a proposal for technical services to the county "to attract a private development partner for the development of housing for low- and moderate-income households" on the Brookshire Road site. The proposed "technical assistance" was priced to the county at $62,300, but the High Country Assoc. of Realtors and NC Realtors Assoc. have pledged $10,000 to help underwrite this study. The DFI estimates the study and recruitment of a private partner to take seven months. (The full scope of the "technical assistance" that DFI is promising gets outlined on pages 29-30 here.)
If people were expecting the election of Republican members to the Commish to signal cantankerous wrangling over the spending of public money, it certainly didn't happen last night. Affordable housing appears to retain its salience for both sides.