Ash spill money pays for pet projects

September 28, 2010 9:52AM

The Tennessee Center for Policy Research’s Chris Butler investigates how local politicians in Roane County are spending money allocated for compensating those harmed by the December 2008 Tennessee Valley Authority coal ash spill.

Elected officials in Roane County, Tenn. are using a disastrous ash spill in 2008 as an excuse to fund some of their most coveted (and expensive) pet projects – none of which had anything to do with the ash spill. Those officials are using $43 million of government money to fund, among other things, the renovation of an abandoned theater, which lies in the center of an economically-depressed part of the county. Two government officials in the county, coincidentally, are members of a board that was created with the sole purpose of renovating that theater.

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