Inside WNC: Buncombe County

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Buncombe County Courthouse on May 16, 2012. Katie Bailey/Carolina Public Press

Inside WNC is a permanent feature from Carolina Public Press that profiles each of the 18 westernmost counties of North Carolina. This is your guide, including direct links, to elected officials, key agencies and departments, plus information on the county’s wages, housing, education and more.

Buncombe County, N.C., map courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau, via Wikipedia.

Buncombe County

Geography and Population

Buncombe County is bordered by Madison County to the north, Yancey County to the northeast, McDowell County to the east, Rutherford County to the southeast, Henderson County to the south and Haywood County to the west.

Map courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau

U.S. Census Bureau maps

Land area in square miles: 656.67

Persons per square mile (2010): 362.9
Population, 2012 estimate: 244,490

American Indian or Alaska Native: 0.5 percent
Asian: 1.1 percent
Black: 6.5 percent
Hispanic or Latino origin: 6.3 percent
White non-Hispanic: 84.1 percent
People reporting two or more races: 1.9 percent
Source: U.S. Census Bureau


U.S., State and Local Officials, Key Agencies

U.S. elected officials

U.S. Senate

Sen. Richard Burr (R)
Washington address: 217 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-3154
Fax: (202) 228-2981
Email contact form

Asheville address: Federal Building, 151 Patton Ave., Suite 204
Asheville, N.C. 28801
Phone: (828) 350-2437
Fax: (828) 350-2439

Information on Burr’s support, sponsored bills, etc. from GovTrack.us

Sen. Kay Hagan (D)
Washington address: 521 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-6342
Fax: (202) 228-2563
Email contact form

Asheville address: 82 Patton Ave., Suite 635
Asheville, N.C. 28801
Phone:  (828) 257-6510
Fax: (828) 257-6514

Information on Hagan’s support, sponsored bills, etc. from GovTrack.us

U.S. House

U.S. House: 10th Congressional District
Rep. Patrick McHenry (R)
Washington address: 224 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-2576
Fax: (202) 225-0316
Email contact links

Black Mountain address: 160 Midland Ave.
Black Mountain, N.C. 28711
Phone: (828) 669-0600

Information on McHenry’s support, sponsored bills, etc. from GovTrack.us

U.S. House: 11th Congressional District
Rep. Mark Meadows (R)
Washington address: 1516 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-6401
Email contact form

Hendersonville address: 200 N. Grove St.
Hendersonville, N.C. 28792
Phone: (828) 693-5660

Information on Meadows’ support, sponsored bills, etc. from GovTrack.us

N.C. Elected Officials

N.C. Senate District 48
Sen. Tom Apodaca (R)
Address: N.C. Senate
16 W. Jones St., Room 2010
Raleigh, N.C. 27601-2808
Phone: (919) 733-5745 and (828) 696-0574
Email: Tom.Apodaca@ncleg.net

N.C. Senate District 49
Sen. Terry Van Duyn, elected April 3, 2014, after the death of Martin Nesbitt
Phone: (828) 777-1672

N.C. House District 114
Rep. Susan C. Fisher (D)
Address: N.C. House of Representatives
300 N. Salisbury St., Room 504
Raleigh, N.C. 27603-5925
Phone: (919) 715-2013 and (828) 258-5355
Email: Susan.Fisher@ncleg.net

N.C. House District 115
Rep. Nathan Ramsey (R)
Address: N.C. House of Representatives
16 W. Jones St., Room 1004
Raleigh, N.C. 27601-1096
Phone: (919) 733-5746 and (828) 628-1643
Email: Nathan.Ramsey@ncleg.net

N.C. House District 116
Rep. Tim D. Moffitt (R)
Address: N.C. House of Representatives
16 W. Jones St., Room 2119
Raleigh, N.C 27601-1096
Phone: (919) 715-3012 and (828) 651-8550
Email: Tim.Moffitt@ncleg.net

County Officials and Agencies

Buncombe County Commissioners
Chairman: David Gantt
Address: 82 Church St.
Asheville, N.C. 28801
Phone: (828) 252-2852
Email: commissioner@davidgantt.com

County Manager: Wanda Greene
Address: 205 College St., Suite 300
Asheville, N.C. 28801
Phone: (828) 250-4100
Email: wanda.greene@buncombecounty.org

Sheriff: Van Duncan
Address: Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office, 202 Haywood St.
Asheville, N.C. 28801
Phone: (828) 250-4503
Email: n/a

Buncombe County Department of Social Services
Director/Assistant County Manager: Amanda Stone
Address: 40 Coxe Ave.
Asheville, N.C. 28801
Phone: (828) 250-5500
Email: mandy.stone@buncombecounty.org

Buncombe County Department of Health
Director: Alma “Gibbie” Harris
Address: 35 Woodfin St.
Asheville, N.C. 28801
Phone: (828) 250-5000
Email: gibbie.harris@buncombecounty.org

Member of the Land-of-Sky Regional Council, which covers Buncombe, Henderson, Madison and Transylvania counties.


County Seat

Asheville
Population (2012 estimate): 85,712
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

City Government Office Address: Asheville City Hall, 70 Court Plaza, Asheville, N.C., 28801

Asheville City Council
Mayor: Esther E. Manheimer
Address: Asheville City Hall, Second Floor, 70 Court Plaza
Asheville, N.C. 28801
Phone: (828) 259-5600
Email: esthermanheimer@avlcouncil.com

City Manager: Gary Jackson
Address: Asheville City Hall, Second Floor, 70 Court Plaza
Asheville, N.C. 28801
Phone: (828) 259-5604
Email: gjackson@ashevillenc.gov

Chief of Police: William Anderson
Address: Asheville Police Department, 100 Court Plaza
Asheville, N.C. 28801
Phone: (828) 259-5855
Email: wanderson@ashevillenc.gov


Law Enforcement Agencies

Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office
Address: Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office, 202 Haywood St.
Asheville, N.C. 28801
Phone: (828) 250-4503
Email: n/a

Asheville Police Department
Address: 100 Court Plaza
Asheville, N.C. 28801
Phone: (828) 252-1110
Email: wanderson@ashevillenc.gov


Voter Information

Buncombe County Board of Elections
Director: Trena Parker
Address: 35 Woodfin St.
Asheville, N.C. 28801
Phone: (828) 250-4200
Email: trena.parker@buncombecounty.org

Chairman: Jones P. Byrd
Address: 89 Edgelawn Road
Asheville, N.C. 28804
Home phone: (828) 253-5728
Office phone: (828) 258-2991
Email: jbyrdlaw@charter.net


Court System

Judicial District 28
Buncombe County Courthouse
Address: 60 Court Plaza
Asheville, NC 28801
Phone: (828) 259-3400

Clerk of Superior Court: Steven Cogburn
Phone: (828) 259-3400
Email: n/a

District Attorney: Ronald L. Moore
Address: PO Box 7158
Asheville, N.C. 28802
Phone: (828) 259-3410
Email: n/a


Economy and Employment

Unemployment rate, December 2013: 4.8 percent
Source: N.C. Department of Commerce – Labor and Economic Analysis Division

Top three industries, by employment (2011, most current):
Healthcare and social assistance: 31,485
Retail trade: 23,113
Accommodation and food service: 18,722
Source: County Business Patterns, U.S. Census Bureau

Largest Employer (Second quarter of 2013, most current): Memorial Mission Hospital Inc.
Source: N.C. Department of Commerce

Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau
Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce
President and CEO: Kit Cramer
Address: 36 Montford Ave.
Asheville, N.C. 28801
Phone: (828) 258-6123
Email: member@ashevillechamber.org or contactus@exploreasheville.com

Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau
Senior Vice President, Executive Director: Stephanie Pace Brown
Address: Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, 36 Montford Ave.
Asheville, N.C. 28801
Phone: (828) 258-6104
Email: sbrown@exploreasheville.com

Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority
Chairman: Ron Morin
Address: The Grove Park Inn, 290 Macon Ave.
Asheville, N.C. 28804
Phone: (828) 252-2711
Email: rmorin@groveparkinn.com


Wages, Housing, Poverty and Education

Per capita money income in past 12 months (2012 dollars) 2006-2010: $26,219
Persons living below poverty level 2008-2012: 16.8 percent
Median household income 2008-2012: $44,206
Median owner-occupied housing value: $191,500
High school graduates, age 25+ (2008-2012): 88.1 percent
Bachelor’s degree or higher, age 25+ (2008-2012): 32.7 percent
Source: U.S. Census Bureau Quick Facts

Number of homeless (January 2013 point-in-time count, most current): 570
Source: North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness

Child poverty rate in Buncombe County: 26 percent in 2012.
Screen-Shot-2014-03-04-at-7.42.08-AM Source: NC Child

Buncombe County Schools
Four-year cohort high school graduation rates, as of September 2013: 80.3 percent
Source: N.C. Department of Public Instruction

Buncombe County Board of Education
Address: Buncombe County Schools, Administrative Services Building
175 Bingham Road
Asheville, N.C. 28806
Phone: (828) 232-4160
Email: communications@bcsemail.org

School Board Chairman: Bob Rhinehart
Address: 31 Challedon Dr.
Candler, N.C. 28715
Phone: (828) 273-1789
Email: bob.rhinehart@bcsemail.org

School Superintendent: Tony Baldwin
Address: 175 Bingham Road
Asheville, N.C. 28806
Phone: (828) 232-4160
Email: tony.baldwin@bcsemail.org

Asheville City Schools
Four-year cohort high school graduation rates, as of September 2013: 81.6 percent
Source: N.C. Department of Public Instruction

Asheville City Schools Board of Education
Address: Asheville City Schools, 85 Mountain St.
Asheville, N.C. 28801
Phone: (828) 350-7000
Email contact form

School Board Chairman: Jacquelyn Hallum
Address: Asheville City Schools, 85 Mountain St.
Asheville, N.C. 28801
Phone: (828) 258-8118
Email:  jacquelyn.hallum@asheville.k12.nc.us

School Interim Superintendent: Bobbie Short
Address: Asheville City Schools, 85 Mountain St.
Asheville, N.C. 28801
Phone: (828) 350-7000
Email: bobbie.short@asheville.k12.nc.us


Higher education*

Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College
Address: 340 Victoria Road
Asheville, N.C. 28801
Phone: (828) 254-1921
Email contact form
Enrollment (2012-13): 11,308

Montreat College
Address: 310 Gaither Circle
Montreat, N.C. 28757
Phone: (800) 622-6968
Email: admissions@montreat.edu
Enrollment (2011-12): 755

South College-Asheville
Address: 140 Sweeten Creek Road
Asheville, N.C. 28803
Phone: (828) 398-2500
Email: tvazquez@southcollegenc.edu
Enrollment: n/a

The University of North Carolina at Asheville
Address: 1 University Heights
Asheville, N.C. 28804
Phone: (828) 251-6600
Email: admissions@unca.edu
Enrollment: 3,693, according to U.S. News & World Report

Warren Wilson College
Address: 701 Warren Wilson Road
Swannanoa, N.C. 28778
Phone: (828) 298-3325
Email: academic@warren-wilson.edu
Enrollment: 852, according to U.S. News & World Report


Top Healthcare Providers*

Buncombe County Department of Health
Director: Alma “Gibbie” Harris
Address: 35 Woodfin St.
Asheville, N.C. 28801
Phone: (828) 250-5000
Email: gibbie.harris@buncombecounty.org

Mission Health System
Address: 509 Biltmore Ave.
Asheville, N.C. 28801
Phone: (828) 213-1111
Email contact form
HCAHPS Patient Perceptions Survey 4/2012-3/2013 rankings:
Rate 9 or 10 Overall: 80 percent
Always Clean and Quiet: 67 percent

Charles George VA Medical Center
Address: 1100 Tunnel Road
Asheville, N.C. 28805
Phone: (828) 298-7911 or (800) 932-6408
Email: n/a
HCAHPS Patient Perceptions Survey 10/2010-9/2011 rankings: n/a


Crime and Law Enforcement

Crime Rate Per 100,000 (2012): 3,301.0
Violent Crime Rate: 243.9
Property Crime Rate: 3,057.2
Number of registered sex offenders: 320
Source: N.C. Department of Justice


*Listings are for entities headquartered in the county and do not include satellites, branches or other service information for others with operations in the county.

Contributors Kathleen Davis and Micah Wilkins supplied additional research to this report.

This page will be regularly updated. Contact us with updates or questions.

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About the Author

Hank Shell

Hank Shell is a contributing reporter and photographer with Carolina Public Press. Contact him at shelljh@email.appstate.edu.

One Comment on "Inside WNC: Buncombe County"

  1. YRosemary Tuite March 11, 2014 at 1:13 am ·

    Excellent articles, I am so happy, as a fairly newcomer to Asheville, 2011 permanent residents! This is one of the Most interesting websites I have found to date! I am now a member and can check out the events and local news at a glance!! A very special thank you to Micah Wilkens from Mountain Xpress for covering a most important Presentation from a National Loop Advocate for the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) in existence for close ton35 years! This event was presented at St. Eugene’s Catholic Church just off Beaverdam Road tonight at 7:00 PM by Juliette Sterkens, HLAA ‘a National Advocare who travels around the United States educating people on Hearing Loops, bur also hearing loss in General! We counted 90 People present! Thank you Micah Wilkins! Everyone is welcome at St. Eugene’s, regardless of denomination to come and see how a hearing loop can help you and your House of Worship or any venue that will benefit from this incredible technology!

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