News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion


Wednesday’s TVA hearing important

An important meeting takes place in Knoxville on Wednesday concerning the future of Tennessee Valley lands.

The meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Knoxville Convention Center and is open to the public and people concerned about Tennessee Valley Authority land use.

TVA needs the hearing to begin balancing commercial growth along the river with the desire to keep land untainted.

Multi-million dollar developments such as the Elk River Resort near Rogersville have environmentalists and long-time residents alarmed at how TVA is using some public lands. Bubba Doss' mega development, critics say, would have a negative impact on their property. Also, Mr. Doss needs TVA land to carry out his plan.

The previous three-member TVA board created concern when it worked a deal with developers that traded away prime land on Tellico and Nickajack reservoirs that is to become lakefront resorts and golf courses worth more than $1 billion.

The new board, now made up of eight part-time members and soon to have a ninth one, is concerned over the accelerated rate of TVA land going into private hands. New chairman Bill Sansom wants to treat TVA property "like national park land."

Morgan County certainly benefited from its ability to gain riverfront property for industrial development. And Point Mallard Park sits on leased TVA land.

But in both instances, the land has gone for the public's good in creating jobs and recreation.

TVA used eminent domain to acquire some of its original 1.2 million acres for hydroelectric dams. Allowing that land to go to private developers is disturbing.

So, answers to how TVA can remain true to the people whose land the agency took and to the public and still allow development may come Wednesday.

The meeting could lead to profound changes in the way TVA does business. If you wish to register your opinion, please call 1-888-882-7675.

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