Whitmire deserves relief from reoccurring stench of sewage

Published 9:10 am Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Let’s forget that the wastewater spilling into your yard prevents you from the simple enjoyment of gardening or watching your grandkids run around on a sunny day.

We believe Eunice Whitmire deserves more than a “We’re trying.” Because the Town of Tryon is trying to fix the problem, according to Mayor Alan Peoples, but who knows just how much longer the solution will take. The town has tried, Peoples says, everything the NC Department of Natural Resources has told them to do. They’ve put into place backflow meters, placed lime on her yard, paid for her home to be cleaned and sealed the manhole near her home. In 2012 the town was denied the first grant it applied for to fix the issue. Now the city has been approved for a $600,000 grant and plans to contribute another $150,000 to replace lines along East Howard Street where Whitmire lives. Officials say this will hopefully resolve the problem, though some speculate it will just send it on elsewhere. Regardless, bids haven’t even been sent out yet and that means months more of waiting for Whitmire. Who can guess how many more heavy rains we will experience between now and then?

We’re not sure Whitmire should have to wait a minute longer for relief. She’s waited too long at this point to live in such a subpar environment from the rest of us.

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Some council members have suggested buying Whitmire’s home, condemning the property and moving her somewhere she can enjoy life without sewage as her roommate. We don’t feel that is such a bad plan.

We’re not saying we don’t understand the wall standing in Tryon’s way. To replace even this small portion of line costs close to $1 million. But, if we can’t take care of the basic needs – the basic health and well being of our citizens in Tryon – in a reasonable manner of time, what else matters?

– Editorial staff, Tryon Daily Bulletin