Knoxville (AP) -- Before deciding to ban the sale of Tennessee Valley Authority shoreline to private developers, TVA's new directors considered disposing of the property to end the debate and pay off some debt.
More than 60 letters from local, state and federal officials, out of some 5,000 public comments received by the agency, released this week by TVA to the Associated Press suggest the level of interest in the issue and pressure on the directors of the nation's largest public utility.
Ultimately, the TVA Board of Directors voted 8-1 on November 30th to make permanent a temporary moratorium on land sales for private development.
The move ensures public access and preservation to some 293,000 acres managed by TVA along the 652-mile Tennessee River and its tributaries.
The acres under TVA's control are all that remain from 1.3 million acres acquired by the agency in the 1930s for flood control, river navigation and hydroelectric power programs. The rest was inundated, sold off or given away.
Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.