Buried deep in the City Council meeting agenda for July 25, 2017 is the approval of McDonald Transit contract for the operations and maintenance of the Asheville City Transit System. A memo from Assistant City Manager, Cathy Ball, requests additional funding of $441,000 that will need to come from the rainy day fund in order to fulfill the transit contract. So, not only does our Transit system lose $7 million a year but now, the City will have to start using its rainy day fund to pay for ongoing operations and maintenance.
North Carolina municipalities are required to maintain 8% of General Fund expenditures, often referred to as the "rainy day fund" to be used in an emergency. Our City maintains 15% to be safe but that is only $18 million. Considering that the City recently experienced a $26 million budget overrun causing a massive scale back in its RADTIP project, it is easy to see how that amount can easily be eaten up in one project. $18 million is not much to put aside for a City with $65 million in debt. Another recession or major event such as a flood or fire could deplete those funds easily.
Here is a link to the Memo from Cathy Ball