At Blount Mansion we appreciate the time and attention Jack Neely gives to Knoxville activities and institutions, including Blount Mansion. However, I would like to clarify one point in his July 22 Citybeat article on Blount Mansion's efforts to obtain a Save America's Treasures grant ["Knoxville's Blount Mansion Earns Windfall Grant"].
Thanks to the efforts of Sen. Lamar Alexander, a strong and active supporter of Blount Mansion for decades, it appears we have an excellent shot of being awarded a Save America's Treasures grant. Sen. Alexander obtained a special provision in the Senate's fiscal year 2010 appropriations bill for the Department of the Interior providing for such a grant. Rep. John Duncan obtained a similar provision in the House's version of the same bill. We are very optimistic that the legislation, with the Blount Mansion provision, will clear the final hurdles in Congress and be signed by the president.
We value greatly the support we receive on many matters from our city, county, Tennessee, and other federal representatives. However, it should be made clear that the Save America's Treasures grant is a federal matter and success has resulted solely from the efforts of Sen. Alexander and Rep. Duncan.
Nancy Kelly, President, Governor William Blount Mansion Association