Harriman to seek more TVA funding from foundation

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By Cindy Simpson

Harriman hasn’t gotten what it deserves in the wake of the December 2008 ash spill at TVA’s  Kingston Fossil Plant.
That is the view of Harriman City Councilman
J.D. Sampson, who is seeking to pursue what he said is $900,000 remaining that the Roane County Economic Development Foundation, formed to help communities affected by the environmental disaster.
“We’re not asking for something we don’t deserve,” Sampson said at a recent council meeting.
Sampson said he fears the city may have to raise taxes or lay off employees in the future.
While the future is far from certain, city Treasurer Charles Kerley said he doesn’t believe tax increases or layoffs are in the city’s future.
“I can’t see it right now, but I can’t say where we’re going to be three months from now,” Kerley said.
He said he’s hopeful that retail will continue to recover and that fuel and inflation don’t play a role.
“I hope these gas prices drop and inflation doesn’t start picking up. There is some worry that inflation has already started in the food industry,” Kerley said.
Sampson’s biggest displeasure is that Harriman Utility Board, which had customers in the area, wasn’t given any TVA assistance after the spill.
“We lost about 60 HUB customers. They ain’t going to get them back,” Sampson said.
Sampson also took issue that the city had no input in what happened to the TVA-purchased land, which is in the city’s urban growth boundaries.
TVA recently announced that some of the land the agency bought would be used for public ball fields.
Council members approved moving forward, including bringing a resolution requesting funds back to the next city council workshop for discussion.
Mayor Chris Mason said the city received $2 million from the foundation so far.