Monday February 8th, 2016 6:11PM

Tennessee lawmakers not worried about Georgia's plan to take water

By The Associated Press
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) Georgia state lawmakers are once again contesting their border with Tennessee in an effort to siphon Tennessee water across the state line.

The Georgia General Assembly began work on a resolution earlier this month which, if passed, would lead to a proposal to Tennessee government: You give us access to the Tennessee River at Nickajack Lake, and we'll acknowledge the current boundary as the official border.

Tennessee lawmakers are dismissive of the latest ploy in Georgia's ongoing quest to tap into the river.

"I don't think anyone's taking it seriously," said Tennessee House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga.

But for Georgians, it's a matter of honor. The current boundary does not reflect the line agreed upon in 1818 when Georgia handed over the territory to the federal government, a line which would have given Georgia rights to the river.

"There's no question that the grant from the state of Georgia to the U.S. government was clearly stated as the 35th parallel," said Georgia state Sen. Charlie Bethel, R-Dalton, "and there's no question that what is currently identified as the state line is not the 35th parallel."

Why dispute a line that's almost two hundred years old? The answer lies in Georgia's ongoing water woes. As metropolitan Atlanta's population continues to grow, so does its demand for water.

"There's literally not enough water, no matter how much you conserve," said Bethel. "We're going to have to secure more water."

While there have been initiatives to build reservoirs and conserve rainwater, many believe the best answer lies in the waters of the Tennessee River.

"It would be a big help to the Georgia water problem," said Georgia state Rep. John Deffenbaugh, R-Lookout Mountain, whose Dade County district sits right on the part of the line most in question.

Georgia has submitted proposals like this before, but with one key difference. They wanted the original state line to be honored in full. This new resolution would allow for a mile and half long strip that follows the 35th parallel, just enough for access to the river. The line would then return to the current boundary.

But McCormick doesn't foresee the boundary being moved at all.

"We don't intend to move our state line to make Georgia have easier access to water," he said.

The Tennessee Valley Authority, which owns the tract of land in question, is awaiting the states' decisions before it becomes involved, according to TVA spokeswoman Gail Rymer.

"We're aware of the recent action taken by the Georgia General Assembly. As this is an issue between Georgia and Tennessee, we will continue to monitor the discussion between the states as this moves forward," she said.

© Copyright 2016
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
S&P 500 index has its best year since 1997
The stock market closed out a record year with more all-time highs on Tuesday, giving U.S. indexes their biggest annual gains in almost two decades.
6:56PM ( 2 years ago )
Colorado readies for 'Green Wednesday' pot sales
Police were adding extra patrols around pot shops in eight Colorado towns that plan to allow recreational sales to anyone over 21 on Jan. 1.
1:52PM ( 2 years ago )
Kerry seeks framework for Mideast peace talks
A senior State Department official says Secretary of State John Kerry will try this week to get Israel and the Palestinians to agree on a framework for negotiating a final peace agreement, yet cautions against raising expectations for Kerry's latest round of shuttle diplomacy.
1:35PM ( 2 years ago )
U.S. News
Ethics laws set to take effect Jan. 1 in Georgia
After dominating much of the legislative session, a set of major ethics reforms is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.
7:04PM ( 2 years ago )
Sex offender held in Hall County for failing to register
A 47-year-old man was booked into the Hall County Jail Tuesday, being held without bond for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender, his second such arrest.
6:09PM ( 2 years ago )
Pharmacy robberies may involve same suspect
Oakwood Police Tuesday afternoon released details in a pharmacy robbery they're investigating, similar to one that happened in the Hall County Tuesday morning.
5:46PM ( 2 years ago )
Local/State News
Feds announce test sites for drone aircraft
The Federal Aviation Administration announced six states on Monday that will develop test sites for drones, a critical next step for the march of the unmanned aircraft into U.S. skies.
2:23PM ( 2 years ago )
Congress letting 55 tax breaks expire at year end
In an almost annual ritual, Congress is letting a package of 55 popular tax breaks expire at the end of the year, creating uncertainty - once again - for millions of individuals and businesses.
2:21PM ( 2 years ago )
Feeling US snub, Saudis strengthen ties elsewhere
Increasingly vocal in its frustration over U.S. policies in the Mideast, Saudi Arabia is strengthening ties elsewhere, seeking out an alignment that will bolster its position after it was pushed to the sidelines this year.
4:34PM ( 2 years ago )
Former Clarkesville councilwoman announces bid for open seat
Former Clarkesville City Councilwoman Tina Courson Evans has announced she will qualify for the seat vacated when Barrie Aycock resigned to qualify for mayor.
4:25PM ( 1 hour ago )
Assault suspects subject of manhunt, one in custody
​A woman was behind bars Monday afternoon, a man remained on the run after authorities spent about a hour searching for him in connection with an assault on the woman's mother in Hall County earlier Monday.
2:26PM ( 3 hours ago )
Student charged in Franklin County High School threats
Officials are continuing their investigation into a threatened shooting at Franklin County High School in Carnesville.
2:18PM ( 3 hours ago )
Lane closures expected on I-985 for sign replacement
​Workers replacing changeable message signs on Interstate 985 are expected to temporarily close some lanes during the middle of the week, transportation officials said Monday.
1:30PM ( 4 hours ago )
Cornelia 'selling' North Fire Station site to collateralize loan
It's a confusing financial technicality, but the Cornelia City Commission has voted to proceed with advertising for sale the city's North Fire Station.
1:21PM ( 4 hours ago )