House Passes Plans To Replace Chickamauga Lock

Permanently Protects Right To Fish Below Dams

Friday, October 25, 2013

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander Friday released the following statement on passage by the U.S. House of Representatives of the Water Resources Development Act, which included a plan similar to his to replace Chickamauga Lock, as well as Senator Alexander’s permanent ban stopping the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from placing physical barriers below dams on the Cumberland River.

“This is a good day for Tennesseans who depend upon and enjoy the waterways our great state has to offer,” Senator Alexander said. “House passage of the Water Resources Development Act moves us further down the path toward replacing Chickamauga Lock, and permanently preserving the rights of Tennesseans and visitors to fish below publicly owned dams on the Cumberland River.”

The U.S. Senate passed its version of the Water Resources Development Act – which included Senator Alexander’s plan to replace Chickamauga Lock and his permanent ban on the Corps’ plans to restrict fishing by placing physical barriers below 10 dams on the Cumberland – in May. Following negotiations between the House and Senate on its versions of the Water Resources Development Act, the legislation will be set to become law.

On Chickamauga Lock:

The House’s version of the Water Resources Development Act, passed Thursday, includes a plan to replace Chickamauga Lock that is similar to the Senator Alexander plan passed by the U.S. Senate in May.  Senator Alexander’s legislation would prioritize funding for Chickamauga Lock, which is composed of aging and severely deteriorating concrete, in two ways. One provision would completely remove the requirement that Inland Waterways Trust Fund money go toward Olmsted Lock, an Ohio River project that Senator Alexander said has “soaked up almost all the available money” for such projects. A second provision would restate a capital development plan that outlines priorities for the fund.

The House version would partially remove Olmsted Lock from the Inland Waterways Trust Fund. Currently, Olmsted receives half of its money from the fund, and half from federal taxpayers – the House bill would change that to only 25 percent of funding coming from the Inland Waterways Trust Fund. 

Senator Alexander said: “I look forward to working with the House on an agreement to replace Chickamauga Lock and ensure that 6.7 million tons of cargo can move through the lock and benefit commerce in Chattanooga and all of East Tennessee.”

On U.S. Army Corps of Engineers fishing restrictions:

The House’s version of the Water Resources Development Act also includes Senator Alexander’s legislation to permanently prohibit the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from using physical barriers to restrict access to fishing areas below 10 dams on the Cumberland River in Tennessee and Kentucky. It would also delegate enforcement below the dams to state wildlife agencies, and require the Corps to re-evaluate its plans.

Senator Alexander said: “We don’t need Big Brother holding the hands of fishermen in Tennessee and Kentucky. This legislation will permanently stop the Corps from pursuing some of its most unreasonable restrictions that would waste taxpayer dollars and keep fishermen from enjoying fishing areas that draw visitors from all over the country.”

The U.S. Congress has previously passed, and the president signed into law, Senator Alexander’s two-year ban on the Corps’ fishing restrictions, which Senator Alexander said was necessary because the House had not yet taken up its version of the Water Resources Development Act. The Senate and House still must negotiate in conference over differences between its versions of the Water Resources Development Act in order for the legislation – including the plan to replace Chickamauga Lock and Alexander’s plan to limit the Corps’ fishing restrictions – to become law.


St. Elmo Check Into Cash Employee Robbed At Gunpoint

A Check Into Cash clerk was robbed at gunpoint on Monday evening. Investigators with the Chattanooga Police Department responded at 6:34 p.m. to a robbery from a business at 3801 Tennessee Ave. Upon arrival, officers spoke with the store clerk, and the  clerk reported speaking with the suspect who then brandished a pistol.  The suspect walked the clerk ... (click for more)

Some Closings And Delays Set Tuesday Due To Inclement Weather

Marion, Grundy and Polk schools are closed Tuesday due to the expected inclement weather. Hamilton County Schools will be on a two-hour delay on   Tuesday . School Age Child Care will be closed. 12-month employees will report on regular schedule.  Walker County Transit will be closed Tuesday . Walker County Schools will be on a two-hour delay. (click for more)

The City Failed To Watch The Chattanooga History Museum Dollars - And Response (3)

The tell tale signs of the History Museum's folly have been evident for years. When I was a former member of City Council I interviewed Dr. Daryl Black, Ph.D. to determine if I should argue for or against the annual funding of his organization. His interview, the multi-year history of administrative non-performance (despite consistent repetitive funding), and a review of the organizational ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Momma Bears Roar

If I could count Hamilton County’s best educators on one hand, Normal Park Elementary Principal Jill Levine would be the biggest finger. What she and her faculty and a dazzling commitment from both her students and parents have accomplished is an educational dream. I am told people literally move to North Chattanooga just so their children will be zoned for the award-winning school. ... (click for more)

Bradley Edges Cleveland, 88-86, On Copeland Game-Winner In Fourth OT

(Story will be updated) CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Thirty-two minutes were not enough to settle the latest Cleveland-Bradley Central basketball showdown. The two bitter rivals needed 16 more before junior Cole Copeland’s turn-around jumper in the fourth overtime to provide the winning points in a colossal 88-86 District 5-3A barn-burner before a capacity crowd at Jim Smiddy Arena ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Softball Picked To Win SoCon Title

The Chattanooga Mocs have been selected as the preseason favorite to win the 2016 Southern Conference softball title by the league's head coaches. Senior second baseman Criket Blanco was named Preseason First-Team All-SoCon and sophomore pitcher Cori Jennings, senior shortstop Alyssa Taylor and senior outfielder Sam Taylor were selected to the Preseason Second-Team All-SoCon. ... (click for more)