Tryon Town Council addresses sewer infrastructure concerns

Published 11:38 am Wednesday, February 28, 2024

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Council hears from community regarding future projects


TRYON—The Tryon Town Council held its February meeting on Tuesday, February 27, after it was postponed one week. The meeting included citizen’s comments regarding the town’s sewer infrastructure. 

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The council voted to hold a work session on Friday, March 22, to go over the Braewick Rd. sewer project. The meeting will also discuss the Markham Rd., Grady Rd. and Oak St. sewer projects. The town has already received $2.23 million in grants for these projects, as well as the Hidden Hill Rd. sewer rehabilitation. The work session will be attended by the project’s consulting engineer and is open to the public. 

Next month’s Town Council meeting will also include a proposal regarding the removal of lead piping in the town. 

“Sewer system overflows are going to happen in a community that has aging infrastructure, which ours is very old,” said Tryon Town Manager Jim Fatland. “I feel this community needs to be aggressive on grants because we are a small community, and we can’t afford to pay for all of it through loans for 20 years.”

Several Tryon residents expressed their concerns at the meeting, including Allan Cassavant who asked if Tryon had outstanding fines for wastewater and sewage violations. 

“They are all paid. If we’re going to get in line for grants, I don’t want $19,000 unpaid,” Fatland explained.

In addition, since the town has plans designed for sewer rehabilitation, there should be no more fines for future overflows, Fatland said. He also assured citizens that Tryon has an insurance policy that covers any claims from lawsuits involving overflows and flooding damage.

Another resident, Richard Norton, gave the town credit for its work but expressed frustration regarding continuing issues.

“I like the fact that Tryon is finally talking about their problems. I like the fact that we have a town manager who is actually filling out the paperwork for grants,” said Norton. “But this is a 40-plus-year-old problem. First, it was about three and a half million dollars, now it’s about 22 and a half million dollars. And we never did anything. It’s the same thing over and over again.”

Tryon’s Peter Hanson shared his unease about the town’s overflows and sewer infrastructure. 

“Our responsibility is to make sure we have a safe community for people to live and prosper. But how do we know it’s safe?” he asked the council.

The council assured those in attendance that they were working diligently to get funding and get the required work done. 

“We’re doing it the way that it should be done through the state with grants with engineers,” said Mayor Alan Peoples.

“It’s been one year since I’ve been here, and we’ve gotten four projects, either under construction or designed and ready to go on sewer projects,” Fatland said. “I know when I get up each day and leave my home to come here, I want to go home at five o’clock knowing that the town has improved, and I’m committed to helping out this town.”

The Markham Rd., Grady Rd., Oak St. and Hidden Hill Rd. sewer rehabilitation projects will be under construction by the summer. By August, the sewer pipe mapping will be complete, showing the location of all piping and its composition.

The Town of Tryon’s Capital Improvement Plan currently has $25 million worth of project outlines. The status of various grants is listed in each month’s meeting agenda.