JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) – A decision to remove all floating homes from Tennessee Valley Authority waterways in 30 years has been overruled.
President Barack Obama signed a law preventing the TVA from removing those floating homes.
Karen Jenkins owns a floating home. She said she is thrilled that President Obama signed the bill that re-writes a portion of the Tennessee Valley Authority Act.
“We feel like our homes have value again,” Jenkins said.
Back in May, TVA voted 7-2 on a 30 year sunset on floating homes.
“When they passed this, you know, who’s going to buy a house that they know that they can’t keep for more than 30 years,” Jenkins explained.
In September, North Carolina’s Republican U.S. Senators filed legislation in response to the TVA’s proposal.
Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis introduced an amendment to The Water Resources Development Act of 2016.
Congress passed the bill. Now the new law no longer requires floating home owners to get rid of their floating homes within the next 30 years, as long as rules are followed.
“We wanted to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to safely enjoys these great natural resources that the TVA manages for the public throughout the valley,” TVA Spokesperson Jim Hopson explains.
He said those rules have not been defined yet.
“A series of requirements will be created to address specific safety, environmental, and navigational safety issues associated with having floating houses or floating cabins on TVA’s reservoirs,” he said.
He says floating home owners will have to pay fees, but it’s unclear how much that will cost.
“We have to determine what the fair nature of those fees would be and then those who would have the floating homes or cabins would be required to pay their fair share of those specific fees.”
Jenkins said, “hopefully it won’t get too out of hand and make it to where it’s not worth owning these homes”.
There will be a series of public hearings to determine the necessary changes that will need to be made to keep the floating homes, as well as determining how much fees will cost.
TVA says those meetings should happen at the beginning of the year.
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