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.
But there was one, short phrase – “new 100- to 150-foot right of way” -- in one sentence of the 2-page, six-paragraph letter that caught the attention of a property owner.
A few simple questions led the Times Free Press to force TVA to reveal Project Viper, a $300 million relocation of the power control center and its 275 employees from downtown Chattanooga to Georgetown. (Aug. 27, 2010)
Property owners, residents and elected officials were misled. Why? No one wanted to dive into the security issues involved with moving the nerve center of your operation to Georgetown. Residents were, and still are, wanting to know how this major facility will impact the rural community.
And then there’s that one, short phrase. Four property owners before your announcement was your intention to use government’s power of eminent domain to condemn and take the private farmland you needed for the last mile of the hookup to Project Viper. It’s not an insignificant detail, don’t you think? And it’s not like you didn’t know because you were talking about condemning land internally since 2015.
Since then, thousands of citizens and residents on Facebook ask questions and offered their view. Two newspapers, one online newspaper and three Chattanooga television stations have done at least 23 reports trying to get you to talk to us. You have dragged four citizens into federal court and filled a “quick take” eminent domain action against the private property owners so that you enter the private property to do “studies” of the land. You then enter one property owners land for the first time without even having the decency to inform the land owners in advance. You came in a back gate onto the property and were seen out the kitchen window.
And now you feel threatened, as you shared with the Cleveland Daily Banner. Really?
We respectfully ask for you to stop misleading the citizens you serve, stop hiding and come to Georgetown for a few more public meetings. We will treat you better than you have treated us.
Concerned Residents of Georgetown