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Rockwood Waterfront Project expected to break ground in May

Rockwood Mayor Mike Miller says it will not only be beneficial for the city but for the people who live there.

ROCKWOOD, Tenn. — The waterfront near Tom Fuller Memorial Park in West Roane County will soon be bustling with construction. The city is planning with developers to build a campground and public marina project.

The mayor of Rockwood is spearheading the project. He said it’s been about 17 years in the making, and he’s happy to see it come to fruition as he prepares to part with his position as mayor later this year.

"We feel like this is a great thing not only for the community, our sales tax, we think that it's good for our people," Mayor Mike “Brillo” Miller said.

The city and developers will break ground on the roughly $12 million projects on May 1, 2022. This project is not only expected to provide locals with something to do, it’s expected to boost tourism in the area. In a land where hotels are hard to come by, it would allow visitors to have a place to stay.

Fishing competitions are a big industry in Rockwood. Trevor and Derrick Goins were on the water practicing for a tournament Friday.

"Yeah, we come here all the time and we were just talking about on the way up here how it would be nice if there were more places to park," Derrick said.

“We got there to fish a little bit, hang out, enjoy the sun. Now we have to drive home,” Trevor said.

Miller said the new project breaking ground next to Tom Fuller Memorial Park next month will capitalize on that.

"We've had teams from all over the country come to play but we have nowhere for them to stay. There's no hotels or motels," Miller said. "We're a small community and you know, not everybody can afford to buy a house on the lake. We have to be able to provide them opportunities that are not costly.”

The new development is expected to include 204 covered boat slips, a boat ramp, fuel platform, swim beach, fishing piers, parking, water intakes, riprap and campsites.

"We're hoping that anybody that comes here to stay will go to the Walmart or the Captain D's or McDonald's or Murphey's to get gas. That's how we live or die, off our sales tax," Miller said.

Miller said a great thing about Rockwood is that it has one of the lowest tax rates in the state of Tennessee.

"And if we want to keep it that way, we have to keep getting things like this into our community that will help up with that," Miller said.

This weekend about 300 anglers will hit the water for a fishing tournament. People competing said this new project will be beneficial

"If we had a place to stay up here, we would definitely use the campground,” Trevor said. "It would just make life a lot easier."

Mayor Miller said the new marina and campground will be open next March --just in time for camping season.