Tryon petitions state to de-annex property

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Town of Tryon approved Tuesday, Dec. 21 a resolution to petition the state to de-annex the property on U.S. 176 occupied by the Frog & Swan antique store, owned by Randall Grobe.
Grobe owns two parcels and asked the town in March of this year to de-annex them, saying he had not received services he was promised.
Grobe said he never wanted to be voluntarily annexed. He said he feels as though former town manager Jim Fatland promised him services, such as sidewalks and other improvements, that he never received.
Grobe was one of a handful of property owners who agreed to be voluntarily annexed into the town based on services the town expected to be able to provide using funds from sources that never materialized.
In 2006, the town proposed a tax increment financing (TIF) district along U.S. 176, which would have made some tax funds available to be used for improvements in the area.
In 2004, North Carolina voters approved Amendment No. One, which is a method of financing that gives local governments a tool to bring new jobs and revitalization to their communities.
Constitutional Amendment One permits local governments to issue bonds without a referendum for a variety of public improvements such as streets, sidewalks, utilities, street lighting and parking that businesses often require in order to locate in a community. Cities are then required to pay the bonds with the increased tax revenues generated by those improvements, according to the North Carolina Department of State Treasurer.
The program never panned out for Tryon, so funding for the improvements did not become available.
Resident Bill Crowell disagreed with council’s decision to petition the state to de-annex the property. Crowell said the town will eventually grow that way (toward the valley) and hopefully one day there will be sidewalks all the way to Harmon Field.
Crowell said there are people in town who were promised sewer years ago and still don’t have it, and he pointed out that Grobe gets police protection whether he’s in the city or not. He also said Tryon needs all the revenue it can get.
“(Grobe) knew the risk when he annexed,” Crowell said.
The resolution approved Tuesday seeks a local act of the North Carolina General Assembly to approve the deannexation of the Grobe property. The town will give the resolution to Rep. David Guice and Sen. Tom Apodaca and ask them to sponsor a local bill.

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