Towns to finalize joint water line agreement

Published 3:00 pm Friday, March 23, 2012

Meeting March 27 at Columbus Town Hall, 7 p.m.
The Towns of Columbus and Tryon and City of Saluda are just a couple steps away from sharing water sources.
The towns share a new water line between Tryon and Saluda that was paid for partly through an emergency water grant.
A joint meeting of Tryon, Columbus and Saluda town councils will be held tomorrow, Tuesday, March 27 at 7 p.m. at Columbus Town Hall. The councils plan to approve an interlocal agreement as well as a pass-through agreement.
After approval of the agreements, the state should give approval for Tryon and Saluda to begin installing water taps to new customers along the new water line. The water line runs along approximately 7 miles of Howard Gap Road between Tryon and Saluda. Tryon can install taps along about half of the line and Saluda can install taps on the other half.
Columbus also has ownership in the line and is connected through a valve installed on a water line already shared between Columbus and Tryon. Previously, Tryon could send water to Columbus, but Columbus could not send water to Tryon. The new valve, along with a booster pump installed along Hwy. 108 across from the Old 19 intersection, will allow Tryon and Columbus to exchange water.
The towns decided a few years ago to connect their water sources in order to provide back-up for one another after a severe drought forced the towns to enact mandatory water restrictions for customers.
The line was made possible through a $1.73 million grant that the towns shared from the N.C. Rural Center and a $300,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission. Each town will also share the financing of $1.43 million obtained from the North Carolina Drinking Water Fund, which is a no-interest loan.
The project included the construction of the water line, the construction of an 85,000-gallon water storage tank and the valve and booster pump to connect Columbus.
Saluda plans to add an additional 18 customers to its water system on the new line. Tryon expects to add about six new customers to its system with potential in the future to add as many as 12.
The public is welcome to attend tomorrow’s meeting.