It's been more than five years since Roane County felt the devastation of a large ash spill. In an effort to fix the damage, the Tennessee Valley Authority offered Roane County $43 million. That money was divided up and for the most part used. Now though, county leaders are deciding how to use that last million.
County executive Ron Woody said this has become a point of discussion in recent commission meetings. The point of contention is who gets the million dollars. They are coming up with a plan, looking into whether the money is divvied up between the municipalities and the county or if it all goes to one fund to help the county as a whole.
Jason Crabtree opened up "Paddleboard Knoxville" in Kingston this year.
He said he did it to help people realize the ash spill is a thing of the past... and that the water is there to be used.
"It's effecting tourism here. We don't have too much tourism as it is. But the fact that we have a negative public image right now, it makes it hard for even gas stations and restaurants to stay open," said Crabtree.
He wants to see part of these public image funds to go toward a beach at Kingston City Park, saying it will help people see the natural beauty of the lakes they have right in town.
"To bring people in and see this beautiful lake and this water; it can only help with the image of Roane County and East Tennessee," said Crabtree.
The problem is the county doesn't know where the money will go at this time. There is discussion that the money could be divided up in between the cities and the county. That is a plan the Roane Alliance said wouldn't be their first option.
"Here internally we are going through a rebranding through the alliance. Our idea is that we would love to see all the municipalities and the county and the alliance all go through this together," said Roane Alliance president Wade Creswell.
Rebranding an image that the was formed from the ash spill to show everything the county has to offer.
"The brand itself would include new websites, new collateral materials, that would focus on economic development tourism," said Creswell.
One of the proposed plans gives $375,000 each to Kingston and Harriman, $100,000 going to Rockwood, and the remaining $150,000 going to the county.