This letter from the TVA to property owners dated Aug. 9, 2018, started a year of discussion in Georgetown about property rights, infrastructure, transparency, Project Viper, eminent domain...and ultimately Native American artifacts.
Dr. Troy Smith is a professor at Tennessee Tech whose focus is Native American studies. He walked the Georgetown site where 15 stone cairns, to date, have been reviewed by two archaeological firms. TVA wants to put a transmission line right in the middle of the discovery.
TVA either intentionally deceiving the public, or they have no respect for Native American culture.
Meigs County Mayor Bill James issued a press release Wednesday expressing support for TVA's Project Viper.
TVA confirmed to the Cleveland Daily Banner they discovered Native American artifacts on the Georgetown property where it intends to cut a right of way through farmland to power Project Viper.
Since the disclosure of TVA Project Viper in August 2018, Georgetown residents and property owners have been calling on the Tennessee Valley Authority leadership to answer questions about the $300 million project that is certain to change the face of a rural community.
Dear TVA: Five months ago, TVA employees came to Georgetown. It’s time to come back and talk.
On Aug. 30, the agency held a public meeting and the letter sent to 70 or so property owners (dated Aug. 9, 2018) said the meeting concerned a $26 million upgrade to a transmission line from Hopewell to Georgetown to serve a “secure office complex.” A press release was issued on Aug. 20.
TVA employees supported by an armed guard entered the private property the government agency is condemning shortly before 1 p.m. today. The environmental study team was from Knoxville. They said they weren't testing, just observing the "natural features." The officer in full body armor wouldn't say where he was based, just "Hamilton." They crossed Gunstocker Creek and onto Project Viper, TVA's $300 million new secret city in Georgetown, around 2:45 p.m.
TVA is moving aggressively to complete its ‘Quick Take’ possession of the 4 private properties in Georgetown through Federal Court action necessary to expand the last 1 mile of powerline easement they do not own through eminent domain for Project Viper.
But first, archaeological, architectural and environmental studies are underway by one of the most respected firms in the Region, Mid South Consulting along the 4.25 miles of existing right of way from Hopewell to Georgetown.
Lawyers for Georgetown property owner Greg Vital went to court Friday and ask Federal Judge Sandy Mattice to set aside the court’s order giving TVA immediate access to the property the TVA needs for Project Viper, a $300 million “secure office complex” that moves the agency’s power control plant from downtown Chattanooga to Georgetown in Meigs County.
TVA didn't even give the property owners time to respond to a lawsuit filed Nov. 20 before it steamrolled its way into federal court Friday morning, where TVA lawyers requested and were granted -- using the eminent domain powers of the TVA Act of 1933 -- immediate possession and access to four properties in Georgetown adjacent to Project Viper, TVA's new, $300 million secret city.
VA filed suit on Tuesday, Nov. 20, against four private citizens in order to take their private property for Project Viper in Georgetown. Property owners found out in the media. TVA has done nothing it said it would do since over the past 90 days. Below is a statement from Greg Vital, one of the property owners who has tried to work with TVA without success.
September 2017, TVA received a consultant’s report outlining how to provide water and wastewater service to its “secure office complex” in Georgetown. No one other than TVA knew anything about the project until the third week of August 2018.
TVA has filed with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) to build "Project Viper," which appears to be TVA's chosen name for its "secure office complex" in Georgetown. (TDEC Project #SOP-18017)
Is this the best TVA can do? TVA IS INEVITABLE. But the continued destruction of the landscape is not necessary. Citizens deserve information and more transparency from TVA.
TVA operates in seven states all over the south and owns almost 300,000 acres of land. With its property or what it can buy, how was this site chosen for the "secure office complex?" And the best path for a new transmission line is across the private property of four residents in Georgetown?
Marchetta Cannon and her family have lived in Georgetown for 18 years just down Highway 58 south, less than a mile from the Highway 60-Highway 58 intersection. Her land is not impacted by the TVA’s new secret city, but she’s concerned about infrastructure and the planning that has been done on what TVA’s new compound will mean for the Georgetown area. She wonders if TVA has worked with county officials from three counties to consider infrastructure needs.
She speaks of Hamilton County employee Steven Evans, who was killed a half mile from the intersection in a tragic accident on March 24, 2011. His picture sits on a well-kept cross about a half mile going south from the main intersection.
“The road (Highway 58) needs to be widened now with the traffic we have now,” Marchetta says. “If you add hundreds of cars in the morning and afternoon, it could be a nightmare. Did TVA consider the impact this secret facility will have on roads out here?
"Other have died on this road.”
But it’s not just roads. Marchetta talks about how people living in the Georgetown think the self-contained wastewater system TVA is building at the secret site means sewer service will be available. “Totally wrong, but TVA just dumped this on us.”
She also wants to know if any blasting will be done if TVA condemns private property and cuts a new, 1-mile right of way to the site through farmland. “This is all rock out here,” she says. “We used 35 pounds of dynamite to put in our septic tank.”
Traffic. Sewer. Blasting. Marchetta knows a fast-food chain has owned property near the main intersection for years, and if the logical development comes, she worries the lack of infrastructure will create problems for residents.
“I see the potential good; most people do,” said Marchetta, “but TVA acts like the residents don’t exist. If the development comes in the next five years, Georgetown won’t be able to handle it.”
TVA needs to rethink what it is planning for Georgetown and be more transparent. TVA needs to do the right thing by citizens and taxpayers. Like our page. Share our posts. Write your elected officials. Keep up with the issue. #4TNFarms
TVA has little to say about its new secret city in Georgetown, but residents, taxpayers, property rights advocates and TVA watchers have lots of questions, such as:
· Is TVA now actually considering alternate routes vs. cutting a mile-long swath through virgin farmland, or just pacifying citizens?
eorgetown residents turned out in mass on Thursday in Georgetown to talk with TVA. A total of 74 invitations were sent out to property owners potentially impacted by the secret, $300 million power control center, and more than 150 turned out!