Annexation not on Tryon’s Tuesday agenda

Published 2:48 pm Monday, December 14, 2009

Tryons annexation issue, which resurfaced last week when councilman-elect Doug Arbogast said he wants to rescind the current annexation, will not appear on tomorrows agenda.

However, the issue could be added to the agenda after the opening of the meeting.

Tryon meets tomorrow at 7 p.m. at the Tryon Fire Department. Newly elected council members Doug Arbogast and Wim Woody will be sworn in, along with incumbent Mayor Alan Peoples.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Arbogast and Woody, along with councilman Austin Chapman, have said they oppose the towns current involuntary annexation of parts of Gillette Woods, Country Club Road and the Harmon Field area.

Last week Arbogast wrote a letter to Mayor Alan Peoples saying he now believes the annexation should be rescinded. Arbogast didnt express an opinion on annexation during the election. Following the election, he told the Bulletin he would not support a motion to rescind the annexation.

He then called for input from residents in town and in the annexation area. Following discussions with town officials and CAFA (Citizens Against Forced Annexation), which has sued the town over the annexation, Arbogast said he wants the annexation to be rescinded. Arbogast said he can count on one hand the people who support the towns annexation and fears the lawsuit will continue for years, costing the town more money.

Town attorney Bailey Nager said he doesnt know when the lawsuit will end, but if appeals continue, the suit could take a couple more years. Arbogast indicated also that he fears the town could be sued again in the future by residents of Gillette Woods because he thinks the required sewer service will not be provided to all Gillette Woods as required.

The town will have one year to begin installing sewer lines in the annexation area and as long as the process is started, a lawsuit will not be likely. The towns annexation plans are to also get sewer service to residents who have been in city limits for many years.

Councilman Chapman has long expressed his opposition to the involuntary annexation and was the sole vote against the towns decision to annex, but he says he is against rescinding the annexation without full examination of the consequences. Chapman says he remains of the opinion that there are better options for Tryon besides involuntary annexation.

With Chapmans opinion uncertain, even if annexation is added to the agenda tomorrow and a motion to rescind is heard, it is unclear whether it would pass tomorrow.

The current lawsuit is scheduled to be heard again in February. At the last estimate, the town had spent about $134,000 last fiscal year and the current fiscal year on the annexation and lawsuit. Officials have said the town has already spent the bulk of the total costs of the lawsuit and may be looking at only another $10,000. Mayor Peoples and councilman Roy Miller say the town has come too far and needs to be thinking about the towns financial future and should not rescind the annexation now.