Tryon annexes property earlier thought to be within town limits

Published 12:40 pm Friday, October 29, 2010

Now that Geographical Information Systems (GIS) technology is being used to map the Polk County area, the Town of Tryon has had to correct its actual city limits. This process has had some financial consequences for some residents.

One property recently was found to be outside town limits when it had been thought to be inside; another that was thought to be outside town limits was found to be inside.

Town council met last week and approved a voluntary annexation of the John and Linda Douglas property, located on Jackson Street. The property was found to be outside town limits, although the couple had been paying inside city limit taxes for the past 37 years.

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The town approved the annexation following a public hearing last week. Town officials and the Douglas family discovered that it would be more financially feasible, given outside water and sewer rates, for the property to be inside city limits.

Town manager Justin Hembree said it might not be cheaper to be inside city limits for all properties, but it worked out that way for the Douglas property because the parcel is fairly small.

Welcome back to Tryon,&bsp; Tryon Mayor Pro-tem Austin Chapman told the Douglases after the decision. Chapman ran the meeting last week in mayor Alan Peoples absence.

The Douglases had previously said they petitioned to be annexed because they thought for all these years they were Tryon residents and wished to continue to be Tryon residents.

The town also briefly discussed another property, also located on Jackson Street, that was recently found to be inside city limits and hasnt been paying city taxes.

The majority of the Thelma Foster property was found to be inside city limits. Some council members expressed concern about the discovery, because of a state statute that allows the town to collect the last five years in back taxes. Council decided to table a decision on the property in order to find out if the town is allowed to give a break on taxes.

Council will consider the issue next month.