Excavated trees donated to Outreach firewood program

Published 10:00 pm Sunday, August 17, 2014

Tryon’s Depot Plaza project began last week with trees taken down and construction beginning.
Tryon is paying for the project through a $150,000 N.C. Department of Commerce Main Street Solutions Fund grant and has been planning the project for years.
“Years of planning will soon yield results,” said Tryon’s tourism and business development coordinator Crys Armbrust. “Thank you North Carolina Department of Commerce and N.C. Small Town Main Street for a $150,000 Main Street Solutions Fund to underwrite this long-awaited downtown project. And than you Dr. John Hooker for providing the required private match dollars. A stellar example of public/private investment at its finest.”
Some of the trees in the depot plaza were removed last week and donated to the Thermal Belt Outreach Ministry firewood program. The town received complaints when it was first announced the trees would be removed but an arborist recommended removal, saying the five oak trees in the parking lot would be damaged when a new parking lot is installed. Given the stress and unhealthy state of the trees it would be a waste of time and money to try to save them, according to the arborist’s opinion.
The trees will be replaced during the project.
Plans for the depot include a plaza between the Tryon Depot (Millard & Company) and Tryon Family Dentistry (Dr. John Hooker’s office). The area is being reconfigured to add parking spaces and to connect the depot plaza with Trade Street.
The town will also do infrastructure improvements prior to the new parking lot being installed to update any pipes in need.
Tryon’s Depot Plaza project is part of a 10-year vision for developing downtown with the plaza’s vision to develop a public space for events and to improve parking in the area and to visually connect it to Trade Street.
During Tryon’s council meeting in June, the depot plaza project was discussed with Armbrust saying the town had sent out requests for proposals for the project. Council plans to discuss and officially approve the contract during its Aug. 19 meeting to Trace and Company, the low bidder. Trace and Company has also been contracted by Tryon to make improvements to Maple Street, including adding a sidewalk and bump-outs. The Maple Street project should be completed in the new few weeks.
Tryon plans to spend $150,000 on the depot plaza and be reimbursed by the grant. The funding will come out of fund balance and be replaced once reimbursement is received.
The grant includes the requirement of new jobs, which has been satisfied for the depot plaza project, Armbrust told council in June.

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