TN lawmakers oppose TVA proposal removing floating houses


Tennessee legislators are pushing back against a proposal to remove TVA lake floating boat houses. The state Senate passed a resolution condemning the move. Now a similar resolution is going through the House. But will the resolution affect the decision?

TVA spokesperson Jim Hopson said it's essentially an opinion, and it doesn't carry any legal ramifications. But lawmakers said they're hoping to get a point across to TVA, and boat house owners we spoke to are counting on that influence.

When Cherie Doyle and her family bought this boat house three years ago, it was permitted by TVA. Resting on dirt, it may not look like much now but when the water's up, said it's a getaway they treasure.

"We planned to own the property forever, we wanted to keep it and pass it down to our children," Doyle said.

The possibility of losing it in 20 years is a disappointment and financial hit, Doyle and other boat house owners weren't expecting.

"How do you remove something like that and where do you take it?" Doyle asked. "That would be expensive as well, not to mention the, in this case, $85,000 that we paid for the home. You're out that money, too."

State senators like Ron Ramsey agree, which is why they passed a resolution urging TVA to retract its proposal.

"These people bought these, some sold recently, who compensates them for that?" said Ramsey. "First of all, these have been there for decades and haven't caused a problem, so why are they taking them off now.

Hopson said there are other issues to consider.

"TVA has attempted to craft a solution that ensures the not only the safety and health of those that use public waterways, but also ensuring those waterways are freely available to everyone," Hopson said.

Meanwhile, Doyle said she hopes TVA will consider the financial, and sentimental value they've built on the water.

"I think when they really think about that they're going to try to help us come up with a good resolution to stay where we are," Hopson said.

If TVA votes to pass the proposal, there will be specific standards that will need to be met by boat house owners before they're allowed to keep their home on the water for the next 20 years.

The TVA board of director's meets may 5 in Paris, Tennessee. Before that meeting, the board holds a listening session for the public where it will hear concerns about all TVA matters, including the boat houses. Hopson said anyone wishing to attend or speak at the listening session RSVP on the TVA website before the meeting.

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