Residents Pack TVA Meeting about Georgetown

Georgetown 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! TVA had a staff of 15-16, including security, that greeted each resident and took them to the oversized maps lining the room. We learned that the new secure office complex will have 185,000 square feet, that TVA will build its own wastewater facility and the federal agency will get water from Savannah Bay Utility District. We also learned that Volunteer Energy Cooperative will be bypassed as TVA will provide power straight to the secure office complex.

“We went from a routine transmission line upgrade 10 days ago to a $300 million complex and a massive turnout Thursday,” said Greg A. Vital, whose inquiries last week and the reporting by the Chattanooga Times Free Press caused the disclosure of the last 48 hours by the federal agency.

“Transparency and doing things the right way matter, and TVA missed the boat,” said Vital.

It was clear in many conversations that TVA had given little serious considerations to alternate routes for its new, 1-mile right away through three parcels of private property, instead just taking the direct approach across three pieces of private property. They also seem unconcerned about the fact that the government will have to use its power of eminent domain to condemn and take the property. TVA’s handout said that process would begin this fall. 

The property owners and interested parties came from Bradley, Hamilton and Meigs counties because 4.25 miles of the transmission line will be built with bigger towers from Hopewell to Georgetown. The TVA staff members treated the Georgetown citizens with smiles, respect and what answers they could provide.

The voices of the people were heard Thursday night, and TVA said it would get back with the citizens about alternative routes and the overall impact of the new secure office facility.