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In an announcement that left the Bass Pro Shops flopping on the shore like a dying big-mouth bass on a hot July day, TVA voted yesterday to preserve more than 293,000 from encroachment and development by private enterprise.

Mike Butler, Executive Director of the Tennessee Wildlife Federation said, "The people tht are going to benefit from this the most are going to probably be the lower and middle-class income families," and others who can't afford a lake house.

He added that most of the land offers an "assortment of values - water, quality, recreation, public use."

TVA's policy contained only limited exceptions for industrial projects or recreation along the 652 mile Tennessee River system, and its tributaries.

Of the 1.3 million acres acquired by TVA in the 1930's for economic development and rural electrification, only 293,000 remain. Much of the land became parks or federal land preserves.

Information from:
Duncan Manfield, Associated Press

See also:
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WoooooHoooooo! Well done TVA! At last, SOMEONE has the cajones to step up, stand up and do the right thing! Bye Bye Bass Pro Shop! Amazing to read the article and find that, when polled, ONLY 4% in the area wanted this BPS thing to happen in the first place. I'm guessing if you calculated it, the 4% would just about be equal to the number of Shoals area politicos and their brown-nosed buddies. Coincidentallyk, the ONLY ones who would have benefited financially from this ridiculous BPS idea. Sorry boys and girls, you'll have to find some other way to line your political pockets.
Bronner (RSA) says they'll fight it in litigation. He claims the agreement to develop Veteran's Park was before this decree.
He should know better than anyone that an "idea" is not a formal proposal. They have nothing on paper to require TVA to make an exception.

The park should be improved for outdoor activities. It would be great to make the shores more accessible for fishing. It could still compliment the Tower and hotel as a nature park which should be popular with the "big city folk" that come for some R and R.
It would be really nice to see the city make a wonderful park out of Veterens Park. In the old days when it was Point Park it was a great place. There were wonderful playgrounds all through the park. I wish it could be raised to the level of Spring Park in Tuscumbia. They've done an awesome job of revamping that area. Could not the same thing be done at our park? Its a beautiful area and a great location. Lets see what we can do with it Florence!!!
I'm not celebrating yet; and I certainly wouldn't send Bass Pro a sympathy card. "Boss" Bronner and his gang has lots of clout and lawyers in their pockets (and it helps that he controls the local elected officials and this newspaper's reporting) SO, Save the Trail folks, let's keep up the good fight and remember who and what we are dealing with here.
If I were Bronner, I'd tear down the hotel, pave over the golf courses and empty the tower. Then take my money somewhere else and spend it. He's delivered on all he promised, a top-notch hotel, world class golf, and rescued the giant, empty eyesore. Our part was to let him develop the Veterans Park property to tie in with the hotel. Now, through all the bitching and whining, you've screwed that up. Didn't want Bass Pro? Now you've blocked ANY development there. Good job!
Well while Bronner is tearing everything down that he didn't buy in the first place: maybe he will give the citizens of the Shoals area back a tax rebate! What is so screwed up in your type of logic Gunnels is that Bronner actually did all the things you give him credit for out of the goodness of his heart and with RSA money, not the taxpayers of the area. And HELL YEAH, I don't want anything if it is going to be a strip mall! I had rather have the tennis courts and frisbee golf!
Sounds like they (RSA)not only put all their eggs in one basket, it turned out to be someone else's basket as well. I never made a habit of announcing my plans until I had everything nailed down. According to Bobby Irons on last night's news TVA had the authority to say no all along. This really shouldn't be a surprise.

I don't understand why so many think a company will help this area when we are having to bribe them to come here. If they felt this area was a viable market for them they would be coming to us and we would be dictating terms. If I wanted to open a business I'd have to buy a priveledge liscensce. It's a priveledge to get to do business anywhere. We're trying to cajole them into coming and pay them to do it. What are the long term guarantees? What happens twenty years from now when that building is old and needing repair, will BPS remodel move or close? What then? And who wants to look out the window of their luxury hotel room or the restraunt on top and see the roof of a strip mall anyway?

I'll admit we need something and I sure don't know what the answer is but if we can stop arguing over this maybe we can come up with a better plan. I don't travel but almost everybody does. What do cities of a comparable size have as an attraction to draw people in? Surely someone has an idea and we have the perfect forum right here to discuss it civilly. Let's give it a shot and try to do some good instead of venting a lot of hot air. Just look how helpful that approach has been up to this point.
I agree, mlholt. Well, I live about as far north as you can get from Spring Park (& still be considered Florence) and yet I still go there frequently. I would think a beautiful park of Spring Park's caliber would only add to the success of the Marriot. This would be a much better view, as you pointed out, than the roof of a strip mall.

Now how would you generate money from such a place? Perhaps if any buildings that needed to added were built to compliment their natural surroundings rather than take away from them. I mean to the point that they actually look like part of nature. That would be cool.

A treehouse restaurant or bookstore.

A river walk would be excellent!

A raised platform that looks like an Indian Mound for performers, with an uphill meadow area for seating (so everyone could see the performers of course)...oh, and maybe a few smaller platforms for dancing. Oh, I could cry! I wish they would do something like this!

Oh, and coffee, there must be coffee. Smiler How to make a coffee house look like nature...hey, there aren't any caverns in that area, are there? They could create a natural looking path to them, maybe even create man-made caverns. How cool would that be?

Even though I don't drink, a pub would be awesome in a cavern. You could name it The Grotto Pub or how about Sleepy Hollow...hee, hee.
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I thought of something else...a bike trail near the river walk as well as a skateboard/trick bike trail SEPARATE from the bike trail, with a skateboard park at the end of the skateboard trail to entice them to stay on it.

Also, the platforms for dancing might need to be paved to avoid injuries, but could be placed near the river walk, with performance area above.

We could also hold one of those festivals we're famous for in the area every year.
It seems like everyone's bashing on Dr. Bronner.

Why, I truly can't explain.

The Bass Pro Shop idea belongs rightfully to Florence Mayor Bobby Irons.

Bass Pro competitor rips incentives
By Todd Twilley
Staff Writer

Last Updated:January 18. 2006 12:00AM
Published: January 18. 2006 3:30AM


"Nobody has any business inviting others to stab our mayor in the back," said Councilman Sam Pendleton. "I'm not discussing anything with anybody other than Bass Pro."

Pendleton said the Bass Pro project was something Mayor Bobby Irons was working on.

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