Squatters Won't Be Allowed at TVA Campgrounds
A crackdown is coming at TVA campgrounds, according to WBIR-TV, Knoxville, Tenn.
Officials will start kicking some people out who have actually set up permanent housing.
It is welcome news for camping enthusiasts.
"It's lots of fun, and it's good to be with the family," David Hurd said.
That's why he has enjoyed camping vacations for 50 years. Hurd takes his wife and his granddaughter, Whitney.
"Sometimes a weekend. Summer time, maybe four or five days," Hurd said. "This time, we're going to stay two weeks."
That's well within the rules posted at Melton Hill Dam Campground near Lenoir City, Tenn.
"21 days on the short-term sites," Ketha Cook said.
Cook and her husband Arthur are TVA campground hosts.
They haven't had many issues at the Melton Hill Dam Campground with campers staying too long.
"I usually turn that over to the police or the guy who is in charge, and they will ask them to move," Cook said.
TVA vows to clean up campsites where it is a problem.
During a board meeting Thursday (June 10), TVA President Tom Kilgore showed photos of campsites where people have gone so far as to build decks and install propane tanks.
David Hurd isn't surprised.
"Most campgrounds, you can't even get in nowadays, because they're homesteading in the campgrounds," Hurd said.
They're enjoying riverfront lots for the price of a campsite.
"There's a lot of people who like to camp, and if you get somebody who comes in and monopolizes a campsite, then other people who want to camp, can't camp," Cook said.
Hurd supports the TVA move.
"Private campgrounds you can go and stay as long as you want to, but TVA is more or less a public company — government subsidized and all that — so they shouldn't allow that kind of stuff," he said.
No permanent housing is allowed, but family fun is encouraged.
"This is a real nice place," Hurd said of the Melton Hill Dam Campground. "One of the nicest ones I've ever been to."
TVA operates about 100 public recreation areas, including campgrounds, day-use areas and boat launching ramps.