TVA to Provide Temporary Funding for Guntersville Weed Control
March 20, 2014
GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. – The Tennessee Valley Authority will work with a newly created Alabama state board, legislators and local officials to find a long-term funding solution to manage invasive aquatic weeds in residential and commercial areas of Guntersville Reservoir.
Local and state officials in Guntersville and Scottsboro will be meeting soon to reinstate a local Aquatic Stakeholder Group that will work with TVA and the new Alabama Board for Aquatic Plant Management to manage aquatic plants on Guntersville.
If the stakeholder group of homeowners, anglers, environmentalists and state and local agencies agrees to reinstate a Guntersville weed management plan, TVA will provide short-term funding to treat weeds in residential and commercial areas for six years beginning this summer.
“TVA recognizes that Lake Guntersville is important to the communities that share the lake’s resources and attractions,” said Rebecca Tolene, TVA vice president of Natural Resources. “From economic development to tourism to drinking water, Lake Guntersville is an important asset to the region, and TVA has an active role to play in the health and vitality of the reservoir.”
TVA continues to provide weed treatment for recreation access to public facilities, such as ramps, swimming areas and public parks; but since 2010 has required property owners to pay for and schedule weed treatment near lake homes and commercial areas.
TVA has now agreed to provide short-term funding for Guntersville through 2019, while the newly formed Alabama board develops a long-term solution that will achieve self-sustained funding. TVA will fully fund treatment of aquatic weeds for three years. After that, TVA will reduce its funding by one third each year, so that by 2019 all aquatic plant treatments in commercial and residential areas would be directed, managed, and funded by the new Alabama board. TVA will continue weed control to maintain public access to reservoir areas.
“We are pleased that TVA will work with us on an aquatic plant management plan for public and other developed areas,” state Rep. Wes Long, R-Guntersville, said. “We are actively working to develop a long-term plan where local communities will contribute to the cost of this program that is so critical to our economy and the preservation of our lake.”
“I want to thank TVA for the genuine efforts that they have made in working with our delegation and local officials to find a balanced approach to managing our lake,” state Sen. Clay Scofield, R-Guntersville, said.
Guntersville Mayor Leigh Dollar said the proposal builds on her city’s long working relationship with TVA. “We are proud to continue to support and partner with TVA as we work together to make Lake Guntersville a safe lake to fish, boat and enjoy all recreational water sports,” he said.
Scottsboro Mayor Melton Potter said he appreciated TVA revisiting its role in weed management on Lake Guntersville and the effort by TVA and officials in Jackson and Marshall counties to reach an agreement that could produce a long-term solution.
“I appreciate this effort to address an issue that has an economic impact on our cities and counties,” Potter said. “This agreement would not have occurred without this cooperation.”
Marshall County Commission Chairman James Hutcheson called it “a tremendous effort to renew a working environment that is conducive to improving our reservoir.”
The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.
Kristine Cooper, Huntsville, 256-430-4837
TVA Public Relations, Knoxville, (865) 632-6000