TVA story always good as reminder of progress
You might say that Buster Smith's 25-year career as a TVA employee doesn't make him a good person to lend balanced perspective to Decatur's relationship with the federal agency.
Then, you just might say that nobody is in better position to recount how this Franklin Roosevelt New Deal program brought prosperity to the Tennessee Valley.
What if there had never been a Tennessee Valley Authority?
Look to the hill country of Kentucky and West Virginia for clues to the answer. The industry-rich Valley of today would not be the home of Fortune 500 companies or the heart and soul of the nation's space program.
Decatur Utilities' decision to continue getting its electricity from TVA prompted the piece Mr. Smith wrote for Sunday's DAILY on the city's long relationship with TVA.
Continuing to dance with the one who brought you, or loyalty to TVA, was the theme of Mr. Smith's article in which he applauded DU for not going outside the agency for electricity. But it was more. It was about partnership. TVA became a way of life here, with experts and local officials cooperating on every step toward modernizing the Valley.
TVA has changed since the days when it helped develop Decatur and other cities in the Valley. Congress cut its ability to fund local projects, but TVA still has a houseful of expertise that is available to communities. And it still has electrical rates that keep ours among the lowest in the nation.
TVA today is primarily a power producer, but still finds money to help communities in business and economic development, the arts, education and public health.
Being a partner with TVA paid off in the beginning and the agency continues its helpful role when we seek partnership.