Legislation that could clear the way for Lake City to be rechristened Rocky Top cleared its first hurdle on Tuesday as it was approved by the Tennessee House of Representatives’ Local Government Committee in Nashville.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. John Ragan of Oak Ridge, is a private act requested by Lake City officials as the first step toward developing Lake City and its two exits off I-75 into a tourist destination.
Developers say that without the name change, the project—which could include a theater, a restaurant, and other amenities—cannot move forward.
Lake City Mayor Tim Sharp and two Anderson County commissioners appeared before the committee on Tuesday and told members that the proposal has widespread support in the city.
Some state legislators worried about the cost of changing five state road signs that include Lake City on them. Local officials said they would cover those costs, which work out to around $300 per sign.
The bill will now advance to the House Finance Committee. If approved later this session by the Tennessee General Assembly, the Lake City Council would have to ratify it in order for the name change to become official. The Lake City Council recommended the name change in November.
Information from WYSH Radio
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