Lions Club cross removed from Tryon Peak

Published 12:32 pm Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The lighting of the Cross on Tryon Peak for the Easter season ended a little earlier than expected this past week.

Crown Castle International (CCI), the owner of the tower on which the cross is mounted, had to remove the cross in preparation for extensive maintenance and structural repair that is planned in the next few months. &bsp;

CCI&bsp; is a leading owner and operator of shared wireless infrastructures, owning nearly 24,000 towers, and has owned all three towers on Tryon Peak for the past two years.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Chuck and Helen Trevathan, members of the Columbus Lions Club which owns the cross, have been communicating with Jon Haley who is the property manager for the East Area of CCI.

In a phone call, he said his company did not mean to show disrespect or to offend anyone by removing the cross. However, the tower on which the cross is mounted is quite old and is in need of extensive maintenance and structural work.

&bsp;In a follow-up email, Haley said: &dquo;While I certainly am absolutely confident that the repairs will be completed in advance of the Christmas season, it&squo;s still a little early in the game to make those definitive promises [that the cross can be returned to the tower]. I would imagine that the resulting tower structure&squo;s capacity will be more than adequate to handle the additional loading of some fashion of cross, but we really won&squo;t know the specifics until closer to completion of the work. All that being said, it&squo;s certainly our intention to work something out, I just hate to make any promises at this point, simply because it&squo;s too early to know for sure whether or not we could ultimately live up to them&ellip; I promise to keep communications open so that we can bring this to an acceptable resolution when the time comes.&dquo;

The Columbus Lions say they are very appreciative of the support by Polk County citizens that has kept the cross burning through so many past seasons.

For now, the Columbus Lions say they will keep the cross fund in a savings account in the expectation that it will be needed for the 2009 Christmas season. Although the Lions are optimistic the cross will return, they will refund contributions made during this Easter season if anyone makes a request.

Contributors can contact the Lions at 894-7062 or P.O. Box 121, Columbus, N.C. 28722.