Tryon agrees to seek bids on interconnect line 

Published 11:53 pm Thursday, February 21, 2019


After Columbus and Saluda approve, towns can obtain an engineer 


TRYON—The Town of Tryon is the first to approve going out for bids for an engineer to determine what is wrong and how to fix the joint water interconnect between Tryon, Saluda and Columbus.  

Tryon Town Council met Tuesday and approved going out for bids to choose an engineer. The money for the engineer will come from a $300,000 settlement from the original engineer who designed the project.  

Commissioner Bill Crowell if the road is currently falling off, should the town spend any money on the water line.  

“Does the money come out of the settlement?” Tryon Mayor Alan Peoples asked.  

Town Manager Zach Ollis said yes, the money would come out of the settlement funding shared by the three towns.  

Once selected, the engineer will determine the current issues with the system, the steps needed to repair the issues and the costs associated with the repairs.  

The water line, pumps and tank were installed several years ago, with construction complete in 2008, but shortly after it was discovered the system did not work.  

The project was paid for partly through a state grant and partly through financing that each of the three towns shared. The interconnect system did not work with the first issue noticed being that when Saluda tried to send water to Tryon, Saluda water customers’ had low to no water pressure. The towns sued the engineer who designed the system, Joel Wood, and settled to receive approximately $300,000.  

The state grant paid for approximately $1.5 million of the project and the towns spent approximately $1.5 million in financing the remainder of the project over the next 20 years.  

The towns enacted a user fee to water customers to pay back the loan for the interconnect.