Tryon to demolish four Eastside structures

Published 7:56 am Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Town looks to handle some demolition in-house
After approximately a decade of Tryon residents watching a number of structures in the Eastside community become increasingly dilapidated, four of those structures can now be torn down.
Tryon Town Council met Tuesday, Jan. 17 and approved ordinances to demolish structures at 366 East Howard Street, 351 East Howard Street and 123 Cleveland Road, as well as a structure on Shepard Street with no address but tax identification of T1-D10.
The process to demolish the structures has been long, with several attempts over the years to contact property owners, many being heirs who live out of state.
Mayor pro-tem Roy Miller has asked the town for years to take care of many dilapidated structures in the neighborhood and asked last year that the town get the process rolling again.
Miller said one structure is about 80 percent on the ground already.
A resident asked council how a house has been ignored long enough that it is 80 percent on the ground.
“I think we’re to blame,” Miller responded. “We continued to allow different contractors to drop the ball on code enforcement. Some of these issues date back to 2002 and 2003. I continually ask about these properties and we’ve wasted years and wasted money because we continually start the process over. We had a code enforcement officer from Monroe, one from Charlotte, then shared with Columbus, but it’s our job to make sure every step was being followed. I agree with you wholeheartedly. It’s been on the ground for eight or nine years and it’s had a blind eye turned on it.”
Tryon received one $40,000 quote to take down the structures. Interim town manager Joey Davis said the town has $16,000 in the budget for demolition and that’s why the town is trying to use in-house staff to do some of the demolition. Davis said two – possibly three – structures will qualify for burning by the fire department as a training exercise. He said the town could burn a structure for $3,000 to $4,000, which includes hiring someone to haul off the debris.
Miller said he thinks the town should at least tackle one or two of the structures using in-house resources because Tryon owns a track hoe.
He said the only costs to the town would be the use of a truck and paying for tipping fees at the transfer station.
The parcels in question are in violation of the town’s minimum housing ordinance. Property owners were sent notifications of the violations last year. Findings of fact were issued in October 2011 that said the property owners had until Jan. 13, 2012 to correct issues. Davis said no structures have had any improvements done.
The ordinances, approved unanimously last week, will allow the town to notify property owners that the town can demolish beginning Feb. 17.
Councilman George Baker complimented Miller for his continuous work to get the structures demolished.
“Roy (Miller) has been on top of this for quite some time,” said Baker. “We are going to be proactive in the future and we have Roy to thank.”

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