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Tryon aims to complete water line to Saluda this year

Tryon is moving ahead with a water line to Saluda, connectors to receive water from Columbus and the rehabilitation of Tryon&squo;s former mountain water source and is now asking for funding from Polk County.A joint meeting of officials from Tryon, Columbus, Saluda and Polk County was set for Friday&bsp;night at 6 p.m. at the Tryon Elementary School Auditorium.The Polk County Board of Commissioners during a meeting earlier this week said Tryon has asked Polk to fund about half of the construction costs for the water line, or $1.43 million, with the other half of the funds for the project coming from grants.According to Polk County Manager Ryan Whitson, former Tryon Town Manager Jim Fatland, who recently resigned, offered the county ownership of two-thirds of the water line with Tryon owning one-third. Whitson told commissioners Monday that he told Fatland the county wouldn&squo;t go for that arrangement.The plans will be discussed by town and county officials Friday. Each government is scheduled to approve resolutions for each to apply for a grant and an interlocal agreement between the four local governments.Tryon is also expected to present information about grant funding and an engineer&squo;s report for the emergency drought infrastructure. Tryon has been placed on the state&squo;s top list for emergency funding as a result of the drought.The estimated costs of the town&squo;s proposed projects for emergency drought infrastructure total $3.46 million. Sources of funding are expected to total $1.73 million ($432,500 each to the four local governments) from NC Rural Center Supplemental Grants, a $300,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission and the local match of $1.43 million from Polk County.If the projects are completed, Tryon and Columbus would be able to receive water from Hendersonville and Asheville through Saluda.Tryon and Columbus already have the capability for Columbus to purchase up to 500,000 gallons per day from Tryon, but a reverse valve does not exist for Tryon to get water from Columbus. Saluda purchases water from Hendersonville, which is connected to Asheville, and a line from Tryon to Saluda would enable Polk County to receive water from those larger sources.