County awaits Tryon decision on funding gym roof repairs

Published 1:27 pm Friday, January 16, 2009

Polk County commissioners apparently will wait until Tryon says how much it&squo;s willling to pay towards a new roof at Harmon Field&squo;s open-air gym before deciding if and how much they will help.

During a retreat Saturday, the board briefly discussed a request from Harmon Field to help with a new roof at the open-air gym, estimated to cost between $30,000 and $40,000.

Commissioner Tommy Melton said he doesn&squo;t feel like the county has all the information yet on the project. Harmon Field is Tryon&squo;s land, he said, and the town hasn&squo;t announced yet how much it is willing to fund.

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Melton also said the county should hold a public hearing on the matter before deciding.

Commissioner Warren Watson said he personally doesn&squo;t have a problem with loaning the town money due to the urgency of the project. Watson suggested the county loan Tryon the money and the town could pay the county back with a 1/2 cent tax increase the county could grant Harmon Field next budget year.

County chairman Cindy Walker said the county doesn&squo;t want to own and run Harmon Field. Discussions in the past from previous boards of commissioners have included the county taking over the recreation park and taxing the entire county for the use, instead of it being owned by Tryon and only Tryon Township residents paying for it. Commissioners agreed with Walker that the county wants to keep the management as is. Walker also said that many county residents use Harmon Field and she would like to help fund the project if the county can.

Commissioners agreed to put the item back on its next meeting agenda for discussion. The county will meet on Tuesday next week due to Monday being Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.