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TDDA committee proposes “Trees on Trade”

Published 10:00pm Sunday, April 20, 2014

A committee through the Tryon Downtown Development Association (TDDA) is proposing a new project to beautify downtown called “Trees on Trade.”
Tryon Town Council met Tuesday, April 15 and heard from the committee regarding the proposal.
Linday Byington, with the TDDA executive committee, said drawings have been redone of the original Streetscape plan (done in 2000) by landscape architect Mark Byington. She told council the primary criteria of the project is to place trees downtown without losing any parking spaces, which has been a contention in the past between local merchants and people who want to have trees downtown.
Mark Byington has redone drawings and found some locations where trees can be placed downtown. Linda Byington said the committee is looking for the TDDA, the Polk County Community Foundation and the town to work together on the project to fund as well as oversight from the N.C. Department of Transportation (DOT).
Linda Byington also said the project could likely find individual donors to pay for the trees themselves. Of course, she said, the project would take cooperation from individual businesses as well.
Mark Byington said Tryon residents have been talking about trees for some time and everyone knows there are constraints such as narrow sidewalks and a road profile that is not wide. He said the committee is simply looking at the realistic opportunities and what can be done without taking parking spaces as well as not conflicting with lights. He currently has a drawing with approximately six trees in the DOT right of way  and estimates a cost of $2,500 per tree, depending on utility issues.
Commissioner Bill Ingham told the Byingtons they know how he feels about Trees on Trade.
“I hope I’m in business long enough to see a tree on Trade Street,” Ingham said.
Tryon Mayor Jim Wright said at some point there will be a financial proposal.
Linda Byington said the committee is scheduled to make a proposal to the full TDDA board on May 5 with Mark Byington doing a presentation in hopes of getting approval to proceed with developing the scope of work, costs and work with the DOT.
Mark Byington has volunteered to be the pro bono streetscape consultant for the TDDA with the project being branded as “Trees on Trade.”

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