TVA Cleaning Out Campground Squatters
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has begun cleaning up public campsites where people have set up permanent housing and other structures, The Tullahoma News reported.
During a board meeting held recently in Jackson, Tenn., TVA president and CEO Tom Kilgore showed pictures of campgrounds and other areas where people had built decks onto parked mobile homes and installed large propane tanks or docks.
Kilgore said cleaning up these sites would not be popular, but he said the utility does "not want permanent lots on the riverside for the price of a campsite."
TVA operates about 100 public recreation areas throughout the Tennessee Valley, including campgrounds, day-use areas and boat launching ramps.
The resident manager at the Barton Springs campground in Bedford County — who wished to be identified only as "Mouse" — said the problem with structures applies only to areas that TVA has leased to private interests. Barton Springs is completely owned and operated by TVA and there is no structure-building problem there. It is doing well this year, he added.
However, Cedar Point campground, located on the on the north side of the lake in Coffee County, is leased by TVA. It has been closed but efforts are being made to have it reopened, he said.
Barbara Martocci, a TVA spokeswoman, said cleaning up campsites is part of a larger initiative to clear up violations on TVA land. That would include building with permits, landowners building on neighboring TVA property or campgrounds where leaseholders have allowed people to build porches or walkways.
"TVA is going back and reviewing a lot of areas and determined there are violations and encroachments that need to be fixed," she said.
Some of the violations have gone on for such a long time that people could be upset by the recent initiative, Martocci said.
"There is a possibility that people who have been there a while will not understand why this is happening," she said.