Author: Tammy Cheek
Soon Lenoir City
Council will have to decide whether to go into the marina
business or allow a private operator to take it over. During
Monday's workshop, the council discussed Tennessee Valley
Authority's (TVA's) determination regarding commercial easement
at the marina. "Dale (Hurst, city administrator) and I met with
TVA officials last week here at their local office on (Highway)
321," Mayor Matt Brookshire said. He explained TVA was trying to
make a decision as to how to treat commercial ventures, such as
the marina at the city park, and how do deal with the commercial
components of these easements. "TVA has made a decision as to
how they are going to deal with them," Brookshire said. "From
this point forward, TVA will be dealing with the commercial
aspect of it on a entirely separate issue."
He said TVA presented two options:
If the city wants to run the marina - taking it over and making
it a public marina - then the city would be the applicant, the
If the city does not have any interest in becoming the owner or
operator of a public marina, then they (TVA) would work directly
with the private operator directly. "The city would have no
say-so. The city would have no input. There would not be a 'work
through the city first' - the city do a sub-lease like it has
been done in the past," he explained.
Right now the application for the marina is in the city's name.
"We made the application based on how it used to be," Brookshire
said. "The city would make the application with TVA then enter
into subagreements with an operator. "The only way TVA can work
with the private operator is if we withdraw our application," he
said. "How is that going to affect the revenue?" Council member
Douglas "Buddy" Hines asked. "We don't get anything?""They
showed us their new system, their new revenue formula,"
Brookshire said."So, we're out of it?" Hines asked. "That's
exactly right," the mayor replied. "Wasn't that like a 30-year
deal when we voted on that?" Council member Mike Henline asked.
"That hasn't changed," Brookshire said. "That's still the term
of the agreement that they will work for is 30 years."
Council member Tony Aikens asked Brookshire if he or Hurst had
any discussions with Ed Loy, who is operating the marina. "No,
TVA has," Brookshire said. He added there have been no
discussions with Loy since the city has submitted its
application to TVA. "I really don't want the city to get into
the rental business," Aikens said. "That's basically what we
would be doing (by taking over the marina)." "That's exactly
what it would be," Brookshire said. He said for the last two
years TVA has been working on the issue of addressing commercial
aspects of TVA easements. There are five within the whole valley
TVA is targeting right now. Some are marinas, some are
campgrounds and some are a mix of both. "Right now, the only
application they (TVA) have is the application from Lenoir
City," he said. "That tells them we want to be the marina
operator. If we don't want to be the marina operator then we, as
a governing body, have to convey to them to please withdraw or
ignore our application so a private operator can apply." "What
is the advantage to the city (to operate the marina)?" Hines
Brookshire answered he didn't know but observed the city would
incur liability expenses. He added the marina could not be
contracted out. It has to be operated by city personnel. "You
have to bring somebody on staff to manage and operate it," he
said. "I believe that is even less enticing," Aikens replied.
Giving up control of the marina would mean losing possible
revenue. Brookshire explained the city had to go with a
temporary agreement with TVA and the marina, and that took away
the city's funding at that point.
Council member Eddie Simpson said when the city talked with TVA
about three years ago, TVA had agreed to split the revenues
60-40 with the city getting the 40 percent. "And now, they have
withdrawn that offer?" Simpson asked. "Yes, that's right,"
Brookshire replied, noting the initial application fee was
$5,000. "I don't know if that (fee) comes back to us if we
withdraw our application," he said.
Simpson said he is glad, when the city made an agreement for the
park, to include eight acres to expand the park. "It sounds like
we're being taken out of the picture by TVA," he said. "Unless
we want to operate it (the marina)," Brookshire added.
Henline said should the city not have control, he is concerned
an undesirable business would go into the marina, such as a
Brookshire said any business operating at the marina has to be
approved by TVA and fit its goals.
Henline asked if others, besides Loy, could make an application
and compete with Loy. "They (TVA) really didn't have an answer,"
the mayor said. "They recognized that could be an issue but they
didn't yet have a policy for how they want to handle it."
Simpson asked the mayor to have TVA make a presentation on its
decision before the council takes any action on the marina.
"I would like to
hear their version of why they changed their mind after the
fact, if they would answer those questions," he said. "There's
no hurry. This thing has gone on for three years." "I think the
only hurry now is Mr. Loy can't move forward with his
application because ours is in the way," Brookshire said.
Henline then asked if the city keeps up the road at the marina.
Brookshire answered the city does that. "We signed a contract
with them (TVA)," Aikens added. "So they want us to keep the
road up yet have nothing to do with the marina..." Henline said.
"They want to take the funds but they want us to spend
everything," Aikens said.
Simpson said that adds some weight in a vote to keep the marina
because he thought the city would be collecting about $28,000 a
year from the venture. Aikens suggested Brookshire get in touch
with Loy so he can be at the next meeting as well.
In other business, the council discussed establishing a
three-way stop at the intersection of Yosemite and Biscayne
Roads in the Harrison Woods subdivision. Brookshire presented a
map made and photos taken of the intersection. "I know one
thing," Council member Bobby Johnson Sr. said. "It will slow
down the speeders. I know a lot of people don't like those
things (three-way stops), but I'll tell you they work in some
Brookshire agreed. "I think this is a good location. "This
intersection is kind of an unusual intersection," the mayor
said. "It separates the Phase 1 of the development from Phase
II, so there is a great deal of traffic just passing through it,
going up to the back part of the Harrison Woods property."
The council, during its March 8 meeting, approved the three-way
stop on first reading, so the second reading would take place
during its 7 p.m. Monday, March 22, meeting. Road Superintendent
J.J. Cox asked the council who will pay for the signs for the
three-way stop - the city or developers. He observed the signs
are custom-made wood ones.
Brookshire suggested the city talk with developers to see if
they are willing to pay for the signs, or perhaps the city and
developer can split the cost. "What we put up, typically, are
metal signs, not what we put up there," he said. Also, the area
is still being developed and not in the city system yet.
Simpson said he thinks the developer should pay. The council
also discussed the possibility of Tire Recycling Center locating
in the city. "We got a call from our representative to the
Loudon County Solid Waste Disposal Commission, Jim Aikens," the
mayor said. He noted the commission was informed of a tire
recycling company that was looking at two sites, one in Lenoir
City and another in Loudon. "Apparently tire recycling
companies fall under the same state statute as landfills,"
Brookshire said. "So, in order for one to locate within your
county, it has to be approved by the county commission," he
said. "The way I understand it, even if they are located in
Lenoir City, the county commission still has to approve that."
The mayor noted, after some discussion with the city
administrator and the commission representative, he wanted to
run it past the council, so the council could offer some input
before the next Loudon County Commission meeting. The center
would require several acres of outside storage, as well as
"As far as noise
is concerned, it is relatively quiet process," the mayor said.
"They use the recycled tires for mulch for playgrounds, as well
as a wide variety of other things."
The center could potentially bring in 10 to 15 jobs, he added
but noted there is not a lot of taxes expected to be generated
there. "They would probably be happier in the county," Henline
Simpson warned the tires are a mosquito haven.