- Associated Press - Monday, November 2, 2015

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) - The Tennessee Valley Authority is expecting some negative effects in northeast Tennessee during the five- to seven-year drawdown of Boone Lake, but the federal agency believes it will all be temporary.

The TVA has released an environmental impact assessment of the proposal to repair the hydroelectric dam that is holding back the manmade lake, the Johnson City Press reported (https://bit.ly/1MsWTFq ). The construction is expected to begin next year and end in 2022.

The hardest financial hit will likely be dealt to Boone’s marina and recreation business owners, according to the agency’s report.

Because of the reduced access to the lake and the smaller water surface area, the agency estimates the annual number of visitors to the lake, from outside the region and inside, could drop from 63,439 to between 48,522 and 28,451. But if the repair plan is approved, the agency estimates up to 725 new construction jobs in the region.

The report says the region’s tourism economy will mostly return to normal once repair work is finished and the water returns to its previous level.

The TVA estimates the value of former shoreline properties, which during the drawdown lose their water access completely, will drop more than those that retain some form of access to the lake.

After the repairs are completed, the agency expects the construction to be followed by a rebound among property values in the area.

The report will be the subject of a public hearing on Nov. 5 at Daniel Boone High School in Johnson City.


Information from: Johnson City Press, https://www.johnsoncitypress.com

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