By Max Hrenda
In the end, the fishing excursion proved unnecessary.
State Rep. Kent Williams said Thursday that a trip for Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, members of the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency, and himself to a fish hatchery in Texas had been canceled.
The trip was designed to help persuade Ramsey to support the proposed Elizabethton fish hatchery, which would be erected along the Watauga River at Cherokee Industrial Park.
According to Williams, the sales pitch is not needed.
“He basically said he didn’t need to see it,” Williams said. “He’s looked at materials on it, and he’s on board.”
With Ramsey’s support firmly hooked, Williams said the trip seemed to be an unnecessary expense.
“We just felt like we didn’t want to spend the money to go out there,” Williams said. “Now what we’re trying to do is fund it.”
Williams and TWRA had estimated the cost of the hatchery to be about $21 million. Currently, they and others are looking at options for federal grant money.
Tom Anderson, president of Carter County Tomorrow, the county’s economic development task force, said acquiring the hatchery would land numerous benefits for Carter County.