Local celebrity Paul Van Heden addressed Asheville City Council about an item on the consent agenda tonight. Council was asked to approve a supplication to the federal government for $1,868,000 toward the purchase of five new buses. The city’s Transit Capital Reserve Fund had sufficient for the match. Van Heden asked the city to add funding for another bus to the request. That way, the city would have no old buses in its fleet, and it could loosen up the funds allocated for replacing that bus in next year’s budget for other capital projects.

As his peers entertained Van Heden’s proposal, Councilman Jan Davis said he was concerned that council hears of great opportunities with small matches every day. The $40,000 council would have to cough out of its fund balance didn’t seem like a lot, but it would if an emergency cropped up and the city really needed its fund balance. Furthermore, Davis’ line of questioning showed that the city’s Transportation Department had planned on scheduling several opportunities with city matches on council agendas in FY 2010-2011. Council agreed not to add the sixth bus to the order.