Infrastructure, sewer concerns to be discussed at Tryon Town Council meeting Tuesday

Published 12:44 pm Monday, February 26, 2024

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Town asks the public to attend


TRYON—Mayor Alan Peoples and Tryon Town Manager Jim Fatland are requesting that the public attend the Tryon Town Council meeting on Tuesday, February 27, to discuss infrastructure and sewer concerns. 

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The mayor and town manager have acknowledged complaints from Tryon residents and say they want to hear more from citizens, as well as share information about the town’s plans. 

“The first water pipes were put in in 1928, we were already putting PVC in when I got elected,” said Mayor Peoples. “When we started out, we had regular pipe, PVC, different size pipes. My point is we didn’t really know what he had, and one of the reasons for this is that in the 1950s, there was a fire in Town Hall. It burned probably over half of all the maps of where the sewer pipes are, and it burned half or more of where people are buried in the town cemetery.”

The mayor said the town appears to have a mixture of cast iron, terra cotta and Orangeburg pipes, a type of pipe made using compressed wood and asbestos fibers.

Town Manager Fatland said a lot of the pipes are undersized, and with age, they begin cracking and leaking.

“When a lot of that water gets into the sewer system, that’s what causes a sewer system to overflow. And water will come out of the manhole,” Fatland explained. “But usually this only occurs during extreme weather circumstances.”

To combat the issue, Tryon is being aggressive about applying for grants. 

“There’s money out there to obtain. You have to have certain things done to be eligible to apply for it. And the Capital Improvement Plan is one document that was done in 2020,” Fatland said. 

The Capital Improvement Plan is an integral part of applying for most grants. A CIP is worth a certain number of points, depending on the grant, and these points determine whether or not a grant is awarded. 

“You need a CIP, you need a study and then you can go talk to an architect or apply for a grant,” explained Mayor Peoples. 

A total of six million dollars has been raised so far toward Tryon’s sewer system updates. The most recent grants awarded were in September; these were $646,000 toward Markham Rd./Grady Ave. sewer rehabilitation, $775,000 to be used for Hidden Hill Rd. sewer rehabilitation and $812,500 to be used toward Oak Street sewer rehabilitation.

Braewick Rd., Hidden Hill Rd., Oak St., Markham Rd. and Grady Ave. sewer projects will all be underway this summer.

Mayor Peoples and Town Manager Fatland want the community to know that they’re optimistic and focused on resolving Tryon’s sewer issues. 

“When somebody shows up about a sewer system overflow, I’m not running and hiding. They happen,” said Fatland. “Some will happen again and again until you get the system upgraded. But the state wants to help the communities that have sewer system overflows.”

The Tryon Town Council meeting will be held at Town Hall on Tuesday, February 27, at 7 p.m.