Road to Nowhere bill advances

Swain County is one step closer to getting $4 million in “Road to Nowhere” funds after a bill introduced by U.S. Congressman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., advanced through the House Committee on Natural Resources last week. Though the bill, H.R. 3806, is not yet on the House calendar, Meadows’ office expects it to come to a vote sometime this week. 

“The residents of Swain County are still waiting on funds that were allocated by Congress more than two years ago. I hope my colleagues in the House will join me in fulfilling this promise to the people of Swain County by bringing this bill to the floor for a vote,” Meadows said. 

The money is part of a settlement between Swain County and the federal government over a road whose construction was promised as payment to the county for a road that was flooded after construction of Fontana Lake. 

The road was never built, and after years of back-and-forth, the county and the federal government finally reached an agreement in 2010 that the federal government would pay Swain $52 million. The money was to be paid in yearly installments, with the full amount dispensed by 2020. 

The county has received an initial payment, but NPS is still holding the $4 million allocated in 2012. Meadows’ bill, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Agreement Act of 2013, would require the park to release the money. 

The Naturalist's Corner

Back Then with George Ellison

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