Tags:With Asheville's water system under review by the state, it might interest local residents to read what's being considered in nearby Tryon: A private company, NI America, has expressed interest in buying the system and managing the town's water delivery and maintenance. The town council met with company representatives to discuss the idea. Here's an excerpt from The Tryon Daily Bulletin:
During Tryon’s Jan. 17 meeting, two representatives from Ni America told [the town] council they have been interested in purchasing the town’s water and wastewater systems for a couple of years.Read the full article
Ni America President Ed Wallace said two years ago his company offered Tryon $4.2 million for its systems. ... Ni America Regional President Stan Jones said they came to Tryon’s Jan. 17 meeting as a re-introduction. Jones, who has a home in Columbus, said having Ni America look at the town’s systems won’t cost Tryon a dime....
“We really specialize in smaller systems that need help,” Wallace said. “We also are in the process of talking to cities in which there are water and wastewater issues with increasing costs. We try to fix the issues less expensively than you can fix it yourself. If you were to call DHEC (Department of Health and Environmental Control) in S.C., our reputation is stellar.”
Councilman George Baker said he is sure Ni America is a wonderful company, but he asked Wallace and Jones how they were going to ensure Tryon’s rates would remain the same or lower if they purchased the water/sewer system.
“We currently have the highest rates in North Carolina for cities our size,” Baker said. “... how are you going to prove to us that if you buy this system the rates are going to be as low or lower than they are now? Are you prepared to put that in a contract?
Wallace responded, “Sure – we have no problem with that.”
He said Ni America’s systems in S.C. are 40 percent lower in rates than their municipal counterparts. ...