Meadows’ Bill Releasing ‘Road to Nowhere’ Funds to Swain County Advances
(Staff Reports) 1350 WZGM – The Great Smoky Mountains National Park Agreement Act of 2013, H.R. 3806, introduced by Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC), advanced through the House Committee on Natural Resources on Wednesday. The bill directs Congress to release funds to Swain County, NC for the “Road to Nowhere.” Currently, the National Park Service (NPS) is withholding $4 million that was allocated to Swain County back in 2012 as part of a settlement with the federal government over a road that was supposed to be constructed as payment for the county when they conveyed land to the NPS for Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 1943, but the road was never built. After a long back and forth, the county reached a settlement in 2010 with the federal government, which agreed to pay Swain County $52 million.
The county has received an initial payment, but the $4 million allocated in 2012 is being held up by the NPS. “The residents of Swain County are still waiting on funds that were allocated by Congress more than two years ago. I hope my colleagues in the House will join me in fulfilling this promise to the people of Swain County by bringing this bill to the floor for a vote,” Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC) said.
In May, Congressman Meadows and former Congressman Heath Shuler, testified together before the House Sub-committee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation urging it to release the funds allocated to Swain County. “I thank Congressman Shuler for his willingness to partner with me to assist my constituents in Western North Carolina. I also thank Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA) and Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) for their help in moving this legislation forward,” Meadows added.