Tennessee Valley Authority

Lisa Graves-Marcucci, Environmental Integrity Project

Curt and Debbie Havens’ ranch style home is the gathering place for their family. Their two boys grew up playing in the streets in this quiet neighborhood in West Virginia’s northern panhandle. Now, their grandchildren do the same.

“They played ball, all kinds of games,” Debbie recalled during a recent interview. Family photos and knick-knacks line the walls. One heart-shaped sign reads “May love be the heart of this home.”

“Everybody wants to come to grammy’s and pappy’s,” she added.


Erica Peterson, WFPL

The budget proposal being discussed in the Kentucky General Assembly contains a new infusion of money for counties that are powered by or distribute power for the Tennessee Valley Authority. 

As a federal entity, TVA doesn’t pay property taxes on any of its assets in 39 southern and western Kentucky counties.  Instead, the utility pays an in-lieu-of tax to the state, which is five percent of its gross sales.  Seventy-percent of that money goes back to TVA counties and 30 percent remains in the state’s general fund.  State Representative Bart Rowland of Tompkinsville is co-sponsoring a measure to return more of those dollars to TVA counties.

Record low water levels on the Tennessee River are creating big challengers for the operators of the Kentucky Hydro Plant at the Kentucky Dam. Plant Manager Bill Stallion told the Paducah Sun that maintaining levels on the river as well as Kentucky Lake is a balancing act of keeping the minimum levels necessary for the dam while making marinas, boaters, and fisherman happy.