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SUNDAY, JANUARY 16, 2005
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EDITORIAL

More riverfront needed as residential property

One thing that strikes many newcomers to this portion of the Tennessee Valley as being odd is the lack of residential property on the river.

Many people probably think of river living when they learn that the Tennessee River flows along the borders of Limestone, Lawrence and Morgan counties.

People ask why there are so few homes, and usually get the answer that the Tennessee Valley Authority is tight-fisted when it comes to public use.

That, however, isn't necessarily the case. Richard Pflueger, land use specialist for TVA, said recently that the agency welcomes the opportunity to work with government agencies to make more river front available to the public.

He also said that much of the desirable riverbank is accessible only by boat. To get to some of it requires crossing private land.

Decatur built Point Mallard Park on TVA land. Many other recreation sites, camps and marinas along the shorelines are on TVA land. TVA says it is willing to be partners with local government agencies to develop even more.

But what about finding ways to open more river frontage to individuals who wish to build either a permanent home or a weekend place there?

The lake is 74 miles long and has 1,063 miles of shoreline. TVA owns 14,082 acres of river property in Limestone, 10,335 acres in Morgan and 3,269 acres in Lawrence County. Access is a problem, but surely there are areas along the Wheeler Reservoir that are not so remote to make putting in roads prohibitive. That, of course, would require cooperation of private landowners, too.

That TVA is willing, maybe eager, to open more sites to public access is great news. Allowing more people to move to the riverbanks would make this area an even more inviting place to live.

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