Counties Would Receive TVA Funds as New Reactor is Built

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- TVA plans to begin construction of a new reactor at the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant in July. A utility spokesman says local governments near the site in Spring City will begin receiving funds in November of next year.

The payments are intended to compensate counties for extra costs they'll incur in housing, schools and law enforcement.

Rhea (RAY') County Executive Billy Ray Patton told the Chattanooga Times Free Press he's heard estimates of more than a half-(m)-million dollars coming to his county in each of the first five years.

TVA spokesman Gil Francis says the utility will turn the money over to the state, which will disburse it to governments of affected counties. Meigs (MEGGS'), Rhea and Roane counties will be directly affected by the big project.

Francis says there will be between 1,500 and 2,000 construction workers on it.

The project will add a second nuclear unit to generate electricity at Watts Bar.

Spring City is about 115 miles southeast of Nashville.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)