All the families of Fontana Lake received a wonderful Christmas present, in the form of a brand-new law that protects floating homes on all TVA reservoirs. With the "WIIN Act" the TVA can no longer arbitrarily remove any of our homes and the 30 year sunset has been removed.
2016 IN REVIEW
It has been a very interesting year to say the least. In February of 2016 we were notified that the TVA was recommending a 20 year sunset period to remove all of our homes. Initially we were completely devastated but after the shock wore off a bit we decided we couldn't sit idly by. In April we started an online ipetition and received over 3700 signatures in a months time. During that period we discovered the Tennessee Valley Floating Home Alliance (TVFHA) and joined forces to become an united front.
On May 5, 2016 we took our ipetition to Paris Landing, TN and floating home owners spoke for several hours in order to plead our case. Ultimately the TVA Board decided to extend the Sunset period from 20 to 30 years. Although we do appreciate their consideration, our ultimate goal was a removal of the sunset all together. That summer we worked hard to try and reverse the sunset decision, but at the August 25th TVA Board meeting it was clear that that wasn't an option.
In September our US Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, as well as Congressman Meadows introduced amendments to the 2016 WRDA bill. These measures were passed in the US Senate on the 15th and the US House on the 28th of September. On September 23, 2016 Swain County Residents Laura Sneed and Commissioner David Moneith testified before the Subcommittee on Government Operations of the US House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee. It was a terrifying experience, but worth it!
On December 8th the House passed the WRDA bill again (after it made it through Conference committee). Then after much debate and some nail biting filibustering, the Senate passed theirs in the wee hours of December 10th.
On December 16, 2016 our dreams became a reality and the President of the United States signed our bill into law. With that, it is now illegal to remove floating homes from TVA reservoirs.
Despite this amazing year and major "WIIN", our fight is not over and we still need to work to save ALL of our homes. The TVA still needs to announce their future regulations and fee structures. Once they do there will be a commenting period before it goes to the board for approval. Before anything is final Fontana Families and the TVFHA need to continue to work with the TVA to make sure that those rules and fees are fair and reasonable.
We will continue to update everyone via our Facebook Group and make sure everyone knows when those go live for comment. Apparently we were too quiet during the last commenting period and we will not make that mistake again. It is clear that floating home owners can move mountains when we band together!
If you are wondering how you can get involved, please join our Facebook group as well at the TVFHA. You should also share this information with all your floating home neighbors and get them involved in the ongoing efforts (strength in numbers folks). In all honesty this fight has not been cheap by any means and we need your financial support as well. Please donate via PayPal or mail a check to the address to the left. We know times are tight, so any amount would be appreciated and will go to good use.
Finally, we have so many people who made this possible that we need to thank. To Congressman Meadows and staff for taking up this cause and being our champion. To Senator Burr and Senator Tillis as well as their staff for championing this in the Senate. We know it was a tough fight on your side and we appreciate that you went to bat for us. To the US House, US Senate and President Obama for passing the WRDA bill and making it a law. To David Monteith, who fights every day for Swain County. To the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Tribal Council and Principal Chief Lambert for unanimously passing a resolutions in support of floating homes. To Swain, Graham and Haywood County for also passing resolutions and your continued support. To Smoky Mountain News, Smoky Mountain Times, Asheville Citizen Times and WLOS for keeping the story alive and reporting the facts. To the Sherrill, Crisp and Prince Families for supporting the cause and taking care of our homes and boats (we love our dock boat owners). To the TVFHA Board and our amazing political consultant Van Hilleary, without you we'd be half as strong and clueless in Washington DC. To the TN politicians at the county, state and federal levels, we appreciate your support. To all the marinas who have support the cause and anyone who has donated to the TVFHA to save our homes. To all our fellow floating home owners as well as all of our supportive family and friends, thank you, thank you, thank you! We wouldn't be a group without your support and we all made this happen. Finally, to the TVA Board, although we haven't agreed with your choices, we do appreciate your professionalism and willingness to keep an open line of communication with our groups. We also appreciate this learning experience as we have met so many amazing people that we otherwise may have never met. If we have missed anyone, we sincerely apologize. We know so many people put in a lot of effort to make this happen and we appreciate everyone who was involved.
timeline of events
We are owners of non-navigable and floating houseboats located on Fontana Lake, in the great state of North Carolina. We formed Fontana Familes in-order to fight to save floating houses and to support the rights of all non-navigable and floating house boat owners on Fontana Lake and on all Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) reservoirs.
In FEBRUARY 2016 the TVA announced that all floating homes (including grandfathered homes) were to be removed after a 20 year sunset period. Since that announcement, we have partnered with the Tennessee Valley Floating Home Authority (TVFHA) and been working tirelessly to save our homes. At the MAY 5th meeting the TVA Board voted to increase the sunset to a 30 year period. Although it’s a step in the right direction, it is not the end goal we're still working to Save our Floating Homes.
Don't let TVA sunset our homes and make us destroy them in 30 years. Many responsible home owners have worked hard, spent a lot of time and money and followed the rules. We love our homes and the quality time they allow us to spend with our family. Join us today and let our voices be heard!
Who We Are
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Fontana Families For Floating Houses
Donate to support the costs incurred in this opposition effort. Make a secure donation through PayPal or make your check payable to "TVFHA" & mail to PO Box 892, Milford, OH 45150
Where we are now