Polk County receives $1 million grant to aid public safety during Equestrian Games

Tryon International Equestrian Center (Meg Banks photo courtesy TIEC).

The State of North Carolina has awarded a $1 million grant to Polk County to be used for the support of public safety in areas outside the Tryon International Equestrian Center during the 2018 World Equestrian Games.

The grant insures that no general property tax money will be used to support the Games, scheduled for Sept. 11-23 at TIEC and expected to be one of the largest sporting competitions in the world this year in terms of attendance.

County Manager Marche Pittman announced the grant during Monday’s regular meeting of the Polk County Board of Commissioners.

“This grant will allow Polk County to protect our citizens during the World Equestrian Games while not impacting our local property tax or fire tax rates,” Pittman said. “We appreciate the State of North Carolina and their concern for the impact of this event to our citizens.”

With expectations of additional public safety expense in the county outside TIEC during the Games, officials from Polk County and TIEC approached state legislators about providing help for public safety costs during WEG. The $1 million grant will support local fire departments, police agencies, emergency medical providers and other state agencies in providing services to the citizens of Polk County.

Pittman and Polk County Emergency Management are working on the allocation of these funds and will be presenting a budget for the Polk County Board of Commissioners to review and approve.