Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield is offering some help to Georgia legislators “gone mad from thirst,” and it comes in a plastic bottle.
City Councilman Manny Rico and mayor’s assistant Matt Lea will drive to Atlanta this morning to deliver bottles of water donated by the Chattanooga Choo-Choo and residents.
“We wanted to put a little bit of humor into something that threatens to be far too serious,” Mr. Littlefield said of the trip.
A proclamation declaring today “Give Our Georgia Friends a Drink Day” in Chattanooga says Georgia lawmakers “have begun to cast longing eyes toward the north, coveting their neighbor’s assets.”
Faced with an historic drought, both houses of Georgia’s General Assembly recently passed a resolution that would set up a commission to look into moving Georgia’s border a mile north so the state would include a portion of the Tennessee River.
In a statement, Jaillene Hunter, a spokeswoman for, Georgia Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle thanked the Mayor for “this fine gesture.”
“It is our hope the Corps of Engineers doesn’t intercept his motorcade at the state line and send our water to Alabama and Florida,” she said.
She was referring to a dispute that has Florida and Alabama asking the Army Corps to release to their states more water from upstream reservoirs in Georgia.
Mr. Rico said the trip “is pretty good for a laugh,” but said the repercussions of moving the border would be serious. He said his business and home would be in Georgia if the border moved.
“I’m Texan by birth, Tennessean by choice,” the St. Elmo resident said.
Mr. Littlefield and Mr. Rico said they believe Tennessee cannot play a substantial part in helping solve Georgia’s long-term water problems.
“Their solution is water conservation,” Mr. Littlefield said.
Mr. Littlfield said exchanging water for a magnetic levitation train between Atlanta and Chattanooga would probably not be a workable idea.
“I’m willing to talk about anything, but that’s not really a practical solution to their problem,” he said.