Tryon officials take tour of dilapidated area homes

Published 1:30 pm Friday, June 6, 2008

The Town of Tryon is now taking steps to address some eyesores in the area, especially in the eastside community where officials have found numerous dilapidated houses.

Tryon Town Council, along with town code enforcement officer Yvonne Janssen, police chief, public works director, town clerk and manager, took a tour on Tuesday of dilapidated homes in the town. Most were in the eastside neighborhood, and a couple of homes were on Depot Street.

Tryon councilman Roy Miller and former councilman Warren Carson have both cited problems with living conditions in the eastside community, particularly with run-down homes, some of which are being used for drug and other illegal activities.

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The tour Tuesday identified 14 homes that have either been vacant for many years or have had excessive code enforcement issues such as unkept grounds. Janssen reviewed what steps had been taken so far concerning code enforcement on each property and said the important thing for the town to do now is discuss what funds are available to do the most immediate cleanup of some of the homes.

Officials described some of the issues the town faces in attempting to deal with dilapidated homes. They said some owners do not live locally, including some as far away as California, and once they are contacted they may tell town officials they are taking steps to renovate the home but nothing is ever done.

In a budget work session following the tour, Tryon Town Council discussed earmarking $30,000 in next year&squo;s budget to clean up some dilapidated homes. Officials discussed plans to begin working with homeowners to remove structures themselves and seek reimbursement either through the homeowners or the land sales.

Miller and Carson have both called on several occasions for the city to clean up the eastside community and enforce codes and laws. Other issues they&squo;ve cited include drug traffic, loitering, larceny, vandalism, speeding and noise. As evidenced by the tour on Tuesday, narrow streets are also a problem in the community. One of the vacant homes looked literally to be falling off a hill. Another problem with one dilapidated home is insect infestation, which Tryon officials said the health department is currently investigating.