New Tryon Town Council not likely to rescind annexation

Published 3:04 pm Friday, November 20, 2009

The newly elected members of the Tryon Town Council will likely not change much concerning the town’s annexation plan.

Wim Woody and Doug Arbogast were voted in to take the seats of sitting council members Dennis Durham and Jim Scott, but the new council appears split on annexation.Woody and Austin have stated opposition to it, while Arbogast and Roy Miller support it. Mayor Allan Peoples, a staunch supporter of the annexation, holds the tie-breaking vote.

All members of the Tryon Town Council were polled on the annexation issue following the election. Woody stated he wants to work with the council to get the annexation rescinded, but Arbogast says at this point he will stay with the current annexation course.

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If I were pressed to make an immediate decision on the issue of annexation I would be inclined to vote for the annexation, Arbogast said. I have a great deal of respect for the prior council members and must believe there were good reasons for their positions. Strictly looking at the cold numbers, it makes sense for the town.

Arbogast also said he intends to challenge everyone in the proposed annexation area to calculate, with the help of town officials and forms, the exact amount they would be expected to pay, or perhaps save, after annexation.

During the campaign, Woody, who was high vote getter for Tryon, expressed his disagreement with the involuntary annexation of the Gillette Woods, Harmon Field and Country Club Road areas of the township. Woody has reportedly been pushing for council to rescind the previous vote it is now being sued over.

But other members are sticking with their decisions, such as Mayor Alan Peoples and current council member Roy Miller. Current council member Austin Chapman said he thinks it would be wrong to comment before the new council is seated or without hearing the actual motion, but he was the towns sole vote against the current annexation.

If Chapman remains opposed to the annexation, Woody would only have Chapmans one vote in support of rescinding the annexation. Three votes are needed to pass a measure on Tryons board.

Miller says he still supports his decision to move forward with the annexation.

Looking at the current financial stability of Tryon plays a factor or should play a factor in how we all decide to continue with the lawsuits against the town, Miller added.

Peoples says he will continue to suport annexation for the Town of Tryon because it is in the best interests of the citizens who use our services.

Some residents have expressed concern over the amount of money the town has spent on the annexation and lawsuit that is currently being appealed. The town has spent $133,988 over the span of last fiscal year and the current fiscal year. Those costs include attorney fees, engineering fees and fees for Benchmark CMR Services.

The towns approximately $134,000 in expenses is probably the bulk of what it will spend on the annexation lawsuit. Most expenses for court trials come prior to the trial and although the town will be looking at more costs through the appeals, those costs will more than likely be limited to attorney fees for actual time in court.

Woody, Peoples and Arbogast will be sworn into office during the towns December meeting. They will join Chapman and Miller on the new council.