Tryon responds to turning down Jervey-PalmerPublished 6:00pm Tuesday, January 29, 2013
After being offered the Jervey-Palmer building at no cost from the Polk County Board of Commissioners and turning the offer down, Tryon council members responded to questions of why.
Tryon Town Council met Jan. 15 and heard from Noell Guffey who asked why the town did take the property to sell it.
Polk County offered to give the Jervey-Palmer building to Tryon but after finding lead and asbestos and questioning underground tanks, the town decided to turn down the offer late last year. The town had been talking to Daystar Enterprises who planned to take the building in exchange for purchasing Tryon a building to house its maintenance shed.
Daystar Enterprises offered the county $50,000 for the building and property, which was accepted with no upset bids offered.
“I was a little shocked no one bid,” Guffey told Tryon council. “It’s five acres in one of the nicest residential areas in Tryon. My comments would be why didn’t the town take it and sell it to this guy?”
Commissioner Doug Arbogast said the town was worried about the phase II study on the property. The county did a phase I study on the property after the town requested it, then the town requested a phase II study before accepting the property. The county countered and offered to remove the storage tanks, which would have been less costly than doing a phase II study.
Commissioner Roy Miller said the town had no guarantees on the trade off and, “didn’t want to be left holding the bag on that building.”
Tryon Mayor Alan Peoples said the town has talked to other people about the building and it had asbestos, xrays and fuel poured on the ground.
Miller added that the town faced a similar situation years ago with the former Massey building across from the fire department and town hall. He said the town learned its lesson after purchasing the building for what seemed like a good deal at approximately $40,000. The town had plans to construct public restrooms in the Massey building and construct sleeping quarters for the fire department upstairs. The town encountered major issues with the Massey building and had to tear it down. The town later constructed restrooms at Rogers Park.
Polk County is working on closing on the Jervey-Palmer building property with Daystar. The county vacated the building in 2011 that used to house county offices. The 17,777 building situated on 4.92 acres off Carolina Drive in Tryon was originally constructed as St. Luke’s Hospital.