Harriman leader wants more TVA funding for city

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By Cindy Simpson

Harriman City Council member J.D. Sampson is still on his crusade to secure part of the $900,000 he said still remains of TVA restitution monies available for the Kingston Fossil Plant ash spill.

“We lost gas, water and power in Swan Pond,” he said of the December 2008 disaster. “Kingston didn’t lose nothing.”

He points out that the Swan Pond area is in Harriman’s urban growth boundary, and TVA’s subsequent purchase of properties takes away potential property tax revenue and utility customers from the city.

Sampson’s beef is that other communities which he believes sustained little direct damage from the ash spill received substantially more money than Harriman.

A committee to draw up something for consideration was discussed, but no action has been taken so far.

Sampson has said any additional money could go toward HUB’s investment fund to maintain utilities for city-owned properties and street lights.

After council member Buddy Holley explained the investment fund is an ongoing cost due to maintenance, Sampson suggested using any additional TVA money to continue paving projects throughout the community.

Sampson also said he understands county officials may be considering looking into whether the county got its fair share of restitution from TVA.

If that happens, he said he thinks the city should do the same.

In Harriman, $1.7 million in TVA funds went to the Princess Theater.

Other money in the appropriation went to Harriman Public Library.