Tryon water and sewer issues

Published 12:12 pm Monday, February 19, 2024

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Frequently, I receive notification via the town’s site of sewer overflows dumping thousands of gallons of untreated sewerage into various local creeks. This, along with recent Tryon Daily Bulletin and Channel 7 news reports following the recent heavy rains causing flooding and sewerage overflows prompted me to meet with the town manager, Jim Fatland, to learn what, if anything, is being done to address these issues.

I was both surprised and pleased to learn that a lot is happening. I went in armed with a list of stories that had appeared in the TDB about water/sewer issues in the three municipalities in Polk County. I also had references to minutes dating back to 2010 from Tryon Board of Commissioners meetings dealing with the issues. I was ready to attack. 

Jim Fatland was ready too. He had maps and plans as well as a list of the status of grants received (not just applied for) to address the most critical problems. 

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He also shared an overview of the Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) that the town council approved in March 2020. This plan deals with Tryon’s entire water/sewer system. He shared the status of his efforts to collaborate with several entities in South Carolina to repair the Lake Lanier dam. I asked him what about the $250,000 the town had recently spent on the dam. He pointed out that those funds paid for a study that showed the condition of the dam and its surrounds, giving him the vital information necessary to reach out to SC to address these issues.

I left the meeting with a grant status list and a sense that things are happening in Tryon that the public is mostly unaware of. Jim Fatland has 45 years of municipal management experience with most of it focused on water/sewer infrastructure projects and/or finance. These are the areas of experience and expertise Tryon needs. I laid down my arms and picked up my pen.


Nancy Gray