Tryon seeks estimates on major street/sidewalk plan

Published 5:18 pm Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Peake Street in Tryon

Peake Street in Tryon

 After speaking of the town’s infrastructure crumbling, particularly needed repairs to streets, Tryon commissioners have asked staff for estimates on at least three major street and sidewalk projects.

Tryon Town Council met Jan. 19 and came to a consensus to consider the projects of repaving Howard Street from the corner of Grady Avenue to Trade Street, repaving Peake Street, to finish sidewalks downtown and a streetscape project on Oak Street, including a sidewalk.

Tryon Town Manager Joey Davis said the town is looking in the $250,000 range, including an estimated $100,000 for Oak/Trade Street, $40,000 for repaving Peake Street, $40,000 for repaving Howard to Grady Avenue, $25,000 for infrastructure repair on Howard, $53,000 for Palmer Street and add another $14,000 to finish up the downtown sidewalks.

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Council has discussed using some of its state Powell Bill funding to repay a loan to complete some major projects.

Tryon Community Development Director Paula Kempton told council she and public works director Gary Walker surveyed 30 Tryon streets to begin coming up with a priority list. Kempton said approximately 50 or more streets still need to be surveyed.

The initial priority list based off the first 30 streets that need to be repaved includes Carson Street to Second Street, Depot Street, Cowan Lane, Spruce and Young, Peake/Howard, Beaver Street, Rector Street, Chestnut and Oak/Trade Street.

Commissioner Bill Ingham said the town can’t just patch the streets. He said the town should pick a few and really do them properly.

“I’d hate to see one section of town that’s finished to the tee and another section just get patchwork,” said Ingham.

Commissioner Roy Miller asked how the streets were prioritized. He said just driving the streets everyday, Howard that is parallel with Stott’s Ford is one of the worst streets in Tryon.

Howard Street in Tryon by Stott's Ford

Howard Street in Tryon by Stott’s Ford

Kempton said Howard didn’t make the top 11 list because of the situation with water and sewer infrastructure that would have to be done at the same time.

Commissioner Crys Armbrust said he would like to discuss the downtown corridor.

“I’ve said it before and I’ve said it for years,” said Armbrust. “It is imperative that we complete the downtown corridor. That is the public face to any visitors to our area.”

Armbrust mentioned the downtown district recently receiving national historic registry approval and said the town should move forward with every effort to optimize the benefit of that designation.

Tryon Mayor Alan Peoples said the town could borrow $400,000 give or take to complete some of the projects.

Peoples said he was mayor for 12 years, then off for two years and now back on council, “and we’re still talking about the same things.”

Peoples also said council needs some solid cost estimates so they can make an intelligent decision.

Kempton said the priority list she presented was based only on the streets she has seen so far and asked if council wants her to see the other streets.

“To be perfectly honest I do not,” said Armbrust.

Armbrust said 30 projects is overwhelming enough.

“We know we have got to address all these streets,” Armbrust said. “Our infrastructure is crumbling. I want to see us move forward in some demonstrated fashion to show that the Town of Tryon is actually a partner in the rehabilitation of our town.”

Peoples said he thinks council is right, that the town is past doing these projects.

“Get some numbers, get some bids and let’s move on,” said Peoples.

Council also asked Scott Lane, owner of the Missildine’s buildings, about his renovation timeline.

Lane said realistically he’s looking at the end of the summer for completion. Lane said they would like to look at the Oak Street project to be done at the beginning of the summer.

Commissioner Bill Crowell said the town can’t move forward until they have a bid. Crowell suggested a work session.

Miller said he thinks the town should get concrete numbers on Peake and Howard Street and council already knows it’s going to cost $14,000 for unfinished sidewalks near Buck’s Pizza. He also said the town could start the projects at the same time or at least try to start them at the same time. Miller also said he thinks some of the sidewalks can be done in house for some cost savings.

Council directed Davis to acquire information from area banks about financing as well as directed Davis and Kempton to get figures on the projects discussed. Council discussed the possibility of calling a special meeting if estimates are received in time. If not, the town meets again on Feb. 16.