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State Sen. Livingston: Meetings underway to determine the future of Jackson County’s former proposed nuclear power site Bellefonte

For decades, the people of Jackson County, primarily Scottsboro and Hollywood, were led to believe the quasi-government Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) would use a 1,600-acre site along the Tennessee River to house a nuclear generating station that could produce electricity for the southeastern United States.

However, after a Northern District of Alabama federal court ruling, the on-again-off-again saga of Bellefonte has come to an ending. It will no longer be a place where a public or private entity will produce nuclear power.

State Sen. Steve Livingston (R-Scottsboro) acknowledges the decision was a significant blow for the local economy’s potential but said the site could be repurposed during an appearance on Huntsville radio’s WVNN on Wednesday.

“We are in the process now of meeting,” he said. “We’ve got a local delegation meeting with TVA about what the future of the site is. It’s 1,600 acres. It’s got some great office space to it and wonderful, wonderful potential to be an industrial piece of property or some other things. We have been trying to sit down with TVA for about four weeks now at their invitation. We just haven’t found a date. Meanwhile, locally there is a lot of conversation going on about what is the future. The FBI is coming to Huntsville. Is this something the FBI could use for auxiliary centers or training centers? Is it a place they could put an automotive plant? Power could be there in a heartbeat. The infrastructure is there to import power. A data center? We’re having a lot of conversations about that.”

According to Livingston, testimony during the recent federal trial regarding Bellefonte’s future reveal a whopping $9 billion in investment on the location over the years.

“It is a challenge,” Livingston added. “We’ll work through it and make the best of what is a bad situation right now. You know, during the testimony in the trial in front of the judge there in Huntsville, at some point in time, they estimated — one of the TVA employees said there was $9 billion in investment sitting out there. It is a shame to see that money sitting, not doing something for the ratepayers/taxpayers since TVA is a quasi-government entity.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.