Senate panel approves Yellow Creek transfer to state

COCHRAN

COCHRAN

Daily Journal

WASHINGTON – A U.S. Senate committee Thursday approved legislation to authorize the transfer of property in Tishomingo County from the Tennessee Valley Authority to the state of Mississippi for economic development.

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Thursday OK’d a bill authored by Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., to approve the transfer of Yellow Creek Port properties in Iuka from TVA to the state. The measure, cosponsored by Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., was approved on a voice vote and referred to the full Senate for consideration.

“The Yellow Creek Port can be an even bigger engine for job creation and economic development in north Mississippi,” Cochran said in a news release. “The transfer of this property would allow the state and the TVA to fulfill the goal of creating more jobs at this site.”

The legislation is supported by TVA, the Mississippi Development Authority, the Yellow Creek Port, and the Tombigbee River Water Management District.

S.212 would authorize the TVA to transfer an estimated 172 acres of the Yellow Creek Port to the state. Since signing a contract with TVA in 1971, the state has worked with TVA to promote commercial and manufacturing development at the Yellow Creek Port.

TVA, in the 1970s, intended to build a nuclear power reactor on the site near the port, but economic issues forced TVA to mothball that plan and then abandon it.

A later plan to build the Advanced Solid Rocker Motor for the space shuttle at Yellow Creek collapsed when that program was killed by Congress.

The Mississippi Legislature in 2011 approved a bill authorizing the state to receive the property pending a successful environmental assessment.

Companion legislation has been introduced in the House by Rep. Alan Nunnelee, R-Miss., House and cosponsored by the rest of the Mississippi House delegation.

Economic development is among the missions given to the TVA when it was created in 1933 as a public power provider to the Tennessee Valley region that includes Northeast Mississippi. Eighty years ago today, TVA delivered its first energy to Tupelo, making it the first city to receive electricity from the utility.