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Sen. Yager announces Kingston slated to receive new historic state park at Ft. Southwest Point in governor’s budget proposal

February 7, 2024

(NASHVILLE) – State Senator Ken Yager (R-Kingston) today announced Roane County is slated to receive a new state park at the historic Fort Southwest Point in Kingston. As a result of years of advocacy from Sen. Yager and local officials, Gov. Lee has included $659,000 in his proposed budget to designate Fort Southwest Point as one of eight new state parks. Lee unveiled his budget proposal on Monday evening in his sixth State of the State address, where he highlighted his plans to increase investments in conserving Tennessee’s outdoor heritage.

Ft. Southwest Point was constructed in 1797 by federal soldiers to control ongoing boundary disputes between settlers and Cherokees. It overlooks the Clinch River where it enters the Tennessee River.

“This is a real game changer for Kingston and Roane County,” said Yager. “After years of work, I am thrilled Gov. Lee has agreed that the historic Fort Southwest Point deserves to be given state park status. This not only means the site will receive recurring state funds but it will also benefit from increased exposure, allowing more people to visit and learn about its historical significance. I am grateful to Kingston Mayor Tim Neal and Roane County Executive Wade Creswell for their work on our shared vision to boost the local economy and show off the historical treasures of Roane County.”

The 2024 proposed budget includes $469,000 in recurring funds for 4 new full-time employees and operational expenses. This means that the funds to operate the park will be guaranteed year after year. The proposal also includes $190,000 in on-time funds for equipment.

“We are excited about the future of Fort Southwest Point, and I want to thank Sen. Yager for his years of work to make this happen,” said Roane County Executive Wade Creswell. “As a state park, this site will aid in our efforts to increase historic tourism in Roane County and benefit the local economy. I look forward to continuing to work with Sen. Yager, Mayor Neal, and the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation to see this project through to the finish line.”

Today, the City of Kingston owns the site of Fort Southwest Point.

“Ft. Southwest Point is an incredible historic site that deserves to be well-preserved for generations to come,” said Kingston Mayor Tim Neal. “Now, we know it will be. Sen. Yager was instrumental in securing funds for Fort Southwest Point in the governor’s proposed budget, and I appreciate his work.”

In the coming months, Lee’s 2024 budget proposal will be vetted by the General Assembly before it is passed sometime in April 2024.