County, three towns begin cooperative effort for water line to Saluda

Published 11:00 pm Friday, February 8, 2008

The four governments approved a resolution to apply for emergency grant funding for a water line from Saluda to both Tryon and Columbus. The line would allow Tryon&bsp;to obtain water from Saluda, Hendersonville or Asheville if needed. Tryon is one of about 13 water systems in the state considered to have only about 100 days worth of water supply remaining. The state has been working with Tryon and the other&bsp;water systems to plan connections to other water sources.The line would be&bsp;built to&bsp;allow a reverse flow of water from Tryon, Columbus and eventually the Polk County water system to Saluda. Tryon has said it will seek to begin work on the line as soon as possible, and it should be complete about six months later.The plan for the new line&bsp;requires that the county cover half the cost or about $1.4 million. Polk County commissioners&squo;&bsp;approved the resolution to seek grant funds&bsp;on the condition that the local governments reach an inter-local agreement that&squo;s satisfactory to the county. County officials say they need assurance that they will obtain enough revenue to pay back the county&squo;s share of the cost. The county is asking Saluda to agree to purchase a certain percentage of its water from the county&squo;s water system. Saluda has agreed to meet with the county to negotiate that arrangement.Look for more coverage in Tuesday&squo;s Bulletin.

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