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What's a few million dollars?

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By The Staff

By DAMON LAWRENCE

dlawrence@roanecounty.com

TVA’s big announcement last week was apparently $3 million short.

Both the news release put out by the agency and the remarks from executive Anda Ray said TVA was providing “approximately $40 million” to Roane County and its communities for economic development.

TVA spokeswoman Barbara Martocci said in an e-mail Monday the actual amount is $43 million.    

“We thought it easier to simply say about $40 million; however, we were wrong,” Martocci said.

The money is TVA’s attempt to try and make Roane County “whole” because of the fly ash catastrophe that occurred last year at its Kingston Fossil Plant.

The Roane County Economic Development Foundation, which consists of TVA representatives and local officials, was established to disburse the money.

Ray, TVA’s senior vice president for environment and research, and local officials made the announcement in front of the Roane County Courthouse on Sept. 14.    

“TVA is pleased to announce that we are going to provide approximately $40 million to this foundation,” Ray said.

The opening sentence of the TVA news release also said the following: “Roane County and its communities will receive approximately $40 million in economic development funds for locally identified projects as part of TVA’s response to the Kingston ash spill.”

The Roane County News and numerous other news organizations, including CNN, NPR and The Associated Press ran headlines and stories that included the $40 million figure.

“It is $43 million with about $10 million per year and $3 million for the remainder of 2009,” Martocci said Monday.

In an interim report released in June on the fly ash catastrophe, the TVA Office of the Inspector General criticized the agency for making inaccurate statements to the media.