Tryon council denies CDBG grievance filed by HannonPublished 5:43pm Monday, June 25, 2012
Tryon Town Council denied a complaint made by the Hannon and Littlejohn family regarding planned renovations of their house being dropped from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) project along W. Livingston Street.
Council met on Tuesday, June 19 and unanimously denied the grievance, stating the town feels everything was done to try to get the house completed.
“The grievance committee determines that the complaint is not valid,” states the town’s determination. “The town acted in good faith in seeking the grant to rehabilitate six homes; due to rising materials costs and unforeseen project expenses there were not sufficient funds to undertake rehabilitation of the final home; the property was fairly the final home due to the priority the other homes had with elderly or infirmed occupants; and, although not required to do so, the town offered $10,000 from its own funds to bridge the cost gap if the Hannon family would raise the remaining funds needed.”
The cost estimates for the house initially came in at $52,000, with the bid coming in at $72,000.
The home in question is owned by Heywood Hannon. The complaint was filed by his grandson, Brook Hannon, during a Tryon meeting on April 2 when the town returned grant funding to the state. Brook Hannon said although the family is upset the home was not rehabilitated, one of the main concerns was that in preparation for the expected repairs, the house was hooked up to town sewer, thus adding a utility bill.
The town created an investigative committee to hear testimony in the grievance and met on June 5. Town officials said town sewer was necessary in order to be a part of the project, but town officials did not know when the town hooked the house up to sewer that the house would later be dropped from the project because of lack of funding.
“When the property was connected to town sewer in July 2011, the town did not know that additional funds would not be forthcoming to enable the rehabilitation of the property and understood that there was reason for optimism that that would occur,” states the town’s determination. “Mr. Hannon received a free sewer connection, normally a $4,000 expense. The town did not represent to Mr. Hannon that connection to the sewer was necessary for the property to be rehabilitated. Per the CDBG regulations, the installation of the sewer connection was not deemed the commencement of the revitalization work on the property such that that revitalization work must be completed under the grant.”
During the project, the town had requested an additional $25,000 from the CDBG in order for Hannon’s house to be completed, but the town was notified in December 2011 that the request was denied.