Georgetown Property Owners Seek Proposals For Independent Environmental And Archeological Study

Court Order Sides With TVA In First Skirmish On Condemnation Of Private Property

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Georgetown property owners said Friday they are going to move forward with soliciting proposals from environment/archeological consulting firms familiar with the Cherokee heritage of the rural community as the Tennessee Valley Authority moves forward with a “quick take” condemnation action against four pieces of private property.

“Residents of Georgetown have concerns about the environment impact of Project Viper on our community,” said Greg Vital, one of four property owners forced into court by the TVA. “It is also well known that there is reasonable expectation that Cherokee artifacts may exist on the land. We are not going to trust TVA to tell the truth, so we will look to move forward on our own.”

Meanwhile on Friday, Federal Court Judge Sandy Mattice denied property owner’s Greg Vital’s motion to set aside his Nov. 30 order allowing the TVA immediate access to the property the TVA needs for the direct route to Project Viper, its $300 million new secret city that will house the power control center.

Judge Mattice’s order was not related to whether the eminent domain action could proceed; it was solely related to a motion filed to slow down the federal agency after TVA sued the property owners without proper notice on Nov. 20.

In his order, Judge Mattice cited the overwhelming power given to the TVA by Congress in the 1933 TVA Act, a fact that the property owners have acknowledged since August when the TVA first announced its intent condemn property for a mile-long right of way through private property.

Property owners have objected to the fact that TVA intentionally misled Georgetown citizens in August when it announced Project Viper, have failed to negotiate in good faith and have ignored calls for TVA officials to come to Georgetown and explain Project Viper. TVA documents show the agency was planning Project Viper in 2015 but said nothing to the public or elected officials until August 2018.

Judge Mattice acknowledged TVA’s history abusing citizens in obtaining property in his order, saying, “Mr. Vital’s consternation with what is transpiring in this action is understandable and very familiar to this Court.” Yet, Mattice admits the power given to the TVA by Congress and the “evolution” of law over time limit his ability to do anything to restrict the TVA.

“Judge Mattice hits the nail on the head when he says he understands the consternation of the property owners in Georgetown because TVA’s behavior is ‘very familiar to this court,’ “ said Mr. Vital. “What he is saying is that is that TVA has a long history of running over people to take their land, all backed by federal law. That is the behavior we have seen for the past six months. It’s David vs. Goliath described as the federal government. Property rights should mean more than that.”

Mr. Vital said property owners have names of consulting firms qualified to do the environmental and archeological studies. He said the owners would have to move quickly since sub-contractors for the TVA, accompanied by an armed TVA police officer in full body armor, were on the agency’s existing right of way Friday taking archeological samples underneath the existing towers. One of the subcontractors told an employee of Vital’s that she was unsure if the TVA had done archeological studies when the transmission line was first built decades ago.

For more information, visit facebook.com/4TNfarms or www.4TNfarms.com.


Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Keyonta Bentley To Serve 51 Months On Federal Gun Charge

Missing Bobcat Back In Pen At Reflection Riding; Suspect Cited To Jail


Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: ANSLEY, JASON ORLANDO HOMELESS CHATTANOOGA, 37411 Age at Arrest: 38 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga SPEEDING AGGRAVATED ... (click for more)

A Chattanooga man has been sentenced to 51 months in prison for possessing a gun as a convicted felon. District Judge Sandy Mattice handed 28-year-old Keyonta Bentley his sentence after hearing ... (click for more)

Evi, the missing bobcat from Reflection Riding, has returned, and a suspect in her disappearance has been cited to court. Reflection Riding officials identified the suspect as Cayden Melia, ... (click for more)


Breaking News

Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Here is the latest Hamilton County arrest report: ANSLEY, JASON ORLANDO HOMELESS CHATTANOOGA, 37411 Age at Arrest: 38 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga SPEEDING AGGRAVATED ASSAULT AGGRAVATED ASSAULT VEHICULAR HOMICIDE LEAVING SCENE ACCIDENT DEATH OR PERSONAL INJURY FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY DRIVING ON REVOKED, SUSPENDED OR CANCELLED LICENSE FAILURE ... (click for more)

Keyonta Bentley To Serve 51 Months On Federal Gun Charge

A Chattanooga man has been sentenced to 51 months in prison for possessing a gun as a convicted felon. District Judge Sandy Mattice handed 28-year-old Keyonta Bentley his sentence after hearing arguments from his attorney, Jackson Whetsel, and prosecuting attorney Chris Poole. Attorney Whetsel asked Judge Mattice to consider the circumstances of the arrest. While the police ... (click for more)

Opinion

Why I Support Funding The Proposed Budget

Dear Commissioners of Hamilton County, I attended the District 3 community meeting with Commissioner Greg Martin and School Board Chairman Joe Wingate, who was filling in for District 3 Rep. Joe Smith. Commissioner Martin stated he had not made up his mind on how to vote for the tax increase at that time. He requested thoughtful input on why the citizens of his district wanted ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: VW Needs Big Repairs

The banner headline on Monday morning read, “Gov. Lee, top Republicans celebrate failed UAW bid to unionize Volkswagen,” and that’s the second-worst thing that the headline could have said. The worst, of course, is if the UAW had won, and the Detroit-based union that lost 35,000 members last year would be revived -- breaking a hole into the tight wall of foreign-owned auto assembly ... (click for more)

Sports

Red Bank Dunks Cleveland For First Swim Win

It’s been a challenging summer so far for the Red Bank Gators swim team, but they had extra reason to celebrate Monday night after beating the Cleveland Aqua Tigers for their first win of the season. Both teams entered Monday’s competition winless in three meets, but the Gators now have a slash in the win column after recording a convincing victory by a final score of 402-262. ... (click for more)

CASL: Monday's High-Point Scorers:

CLEVELAND HIGH-POINT SCORERS: 18 – Trey Parris III, Monroe Chittum 17 – Breanna Belcher, Charlie Chittum 16 – Lauren Thompson 15 – Elijah Sluss 13 – Luke Hunt 12 – Norah Holt 11 – Abby Anglin 10 – M.J. Miller, Eva Christmann, Estella Clemons, Ivy Briggs. RED BANK HIGH-POINT SCORERS: 19 – Noah Blake, Ben Meagher 17 – Trevor Brooks 15 – Simon Bastnagel ... (click for more)