Eastside problems need action now, says Tryon councilman Miller

Published 2:21 pm Friday, May 23, 2008

A Tryon councilman has once again called on town council to address issues in the eastside neighborhood, saying the town needs to clean up dilapidated houses and control drug activity.

At the Tryon Town Council meeting Tuesday, councilman Roy Miller read a letter from Warren Carson, a former councilman and the current chairman of the town&squo;s Eastside Citizen Advisory Committee, who said some eastside citizens need some relief from neighborhood problems (see letter, p. 8). Miller said dilapidated houses on the eastside are being used for drug transactions and other activity and residents&squo; and the problems need to be addressed.

&dquo;We have a serious problem,&dquo; Miller said. &dquo;I keep saying it over and over, guys.&dquo;

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Miller told of a recent incident in which Kipp McIntyre was at his property and witnessed a drug deal with individuals placing drugs in McIntyre&squo;s mailbox. McIntyre approached the individuals and was threatened, Miller said.

&dquo;So here&squo;s a man who has made a substantial investment in that community and is on his property and is threatened because he sees a drug deal that happens at his mailbox,&dquo; Miller said. &dquo;I don&squo;t know how we can promote a nice neighborhood, especially on the heels of something that&squo;s getting ready to have tourists flock into the eastside neighborhood. We can decide we want to take a look at the problem or keep ignoring it, but eventually it&squo;s going to come from the eastside and it&squo;s going to be in your neighborhood, truly, if it&squo;s not already there. Or it&squo;s going to be up on main street and then we&squo;ll address the problem ‐ but we have to address it.&dquo;

Carson&squo;s letter said some of the same concerns he brought to council several times over his 12 years in office.

&dquo;Open and flagrant drug traffic and sales, loitering, larceny, and vandalism, speeding and noise from vehicles and homes, and just an over abundance of abandoned and dilapidated houses make our community unsafe, unhealthy, and undesirable to live in,&dquo; says Carson. &dquo;It bears repeating that many of the residents there, particularly the elderly ones, have given their lives to the area and they have nowhere else to go. The very least the Town of Tryon can do for them is to help them acheive some peace and quiet.&dquo;

Tryon Mayor Alan Peoples addressed Miller&squo;s concerns Tuesday by saying that Tryon has finally made it to a point where people in all communities are willing to call and report what they see instead of ignoring it and that is the first step. He also said the visibility in the community is key and the town needs to move on dilapidated houses, but like everything else, it&squo;s not cheap.

&dquo;But, if you take my house or any one of ours and you put a dilapidated house beside it, the property value drops,&dquo; Peoples said. &dquo;It&squo;s not rocket science.&dquo;