I was baffled by item K in this week’s consent agenda at City Council. It read:
“Resolution approving in principle the issuance by the Housing Authority of the City of Asheville of up to $20,000,000 of multifamily housing revenue bonds for the acquisition and rehabilitation of Battery Park Apartments.”
How, I wondered, could $20M in bonds be passed with no fanfare, via a consent agenda, without extensive public discussion? The HACA was going to buy Battery Park? And renovations?
So, when the consent agenda came up for public comment, I asked.
The answer was reassuring, as far as I could understand it: some arcane process involving the actual owner (Nation Church Residences) raising funds for renovation through issuing bonds, under authority of HACA but imputing no liability to HACA or the City of Asheville.
I was surprised that I was the only person who actually sought clarification on this, especially since it was the only thing of its kind I’ve ever seen in a consent agenda. Anyway, the moral of the story is: ask. Always ask.