Citizens hear TVA's plans for Kingston ash spill site

Citizens hear TVA's plans for Kingston ash spill site

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KINGSTON (WATE) - People living near the Kingston ash spill heard the most definitive plans yet for the future of their area Tuesday night.

There's been contention, confusion and questions since the area around the Kingston Fossil Plant was inundated with ash in December 2008.

They're just plans on paper right now more conceptual than concrete, but they spell out TVA's ideas.

TVA's vision for some of the property it purchased following the ash spill builds on the original beauty of the area.

TVA spokesperson Katie Kline said, "We will retain ownership of all the property but will turn part of it into green space, public use, ball fields for public use, bird watching, wetlands, things that people can really relax and enjoy."

Plans also include fishing piers accessible all along the Emory River and boat ramps.

As part of the cleanup, under TVA's agreement with environmental agencies vegetation will be restored along the shoreline.

"We're going to take advantage of the natural springs and develop the wetlands, return native grasses to the area, take out the invasive plants," Kline said.

Well over a hundred people attended Tuesday night's meeting at First Baptist Church of Kingston. Those we talked with like the plans, but wonder if they'll ever be realized.

"If they happen, it'll be wonderful," said Kathryn Perrillo.

These public meetings are not over TVA says it still wants input from the community as it takes the first steps to restore what was lost.

Construction of the fishing piers and boat ramp will start in 2012. The ball fields and wetland development can't start until cleanup is complete around 2014.

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