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Updated: Friday, August 2 2013, 10:22 PM EDT
Taxpayers will foot the bill for their officials’ trip to Paris. Buncombe county officials and the mayor of Asheville took the trip to attend the Paris Air Show and an announcement of a major plant expansion in the city.
GE Aviation executives announced Sunday it will expand its factory on Sweeten Creek Road to make parts for big jets. According to city documents, city taxpayers are paying an estimated $3,340 for the mayor to attend. County budget officers say they won’t know their delegation's expenses until expense reports are filed.
That leaves some taxpayers wondering how their money is being used. Some say the travel money could have been used to help children's summer programs, and that the trip could have been replaced by a phone call thanking GE for the investment in Asheville. Others say the trip is an investment that will encourage other companies to locate here.
City officials say the trip puts the county's leaders and Asheville on a world stage where they can also meet with company executives considering Asheville for new aviation plants.
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