published Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Chattanooga: Council chambers packed for water quality meeting

by Cliff Hightower
  • photo
    Staff Photo by Lesley Onstott Mayor Ron Littlefield, center, and District 1 City Council member, Deborah Scott, listen to complaints and questions from Bill Raines, a Chattanooga citizen and business owner. The City Council held a public hearing Thursday afternoon to address stormwater fines.

More than 150 people crowded the City Council chambers today for a hearing on why and how the city would use more than $100 million in stormwater fees over the next five years.

Councilman Jack Benson asked if there was anything unnecessary in the city’s $22 million-a-year budget for water quality.

“Are we plugging anything not needed?” Mr. Benson asked.

Mayor Ron Littlefield said the money would pay for nothing extra.

“There’s nothing extraneous,” he said.

“Okay,” Mr. Benson replied. “You’re on the record.”

The city increased its water quality fee more than a month ago, raising the residential rates from $36 a month to $115.20 a year.

Many of those at the meeting said their bills went up from hundreds of dollars a year to many thousands of dollars.

For more information, read tomorrow’s edition of the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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rolando said...

Coming up next; fees on your air pollution/global warming index, based on the number, age, dietary preferences, and gender of all persons living [and breathing/eating] in your household, said data to be obtained from the 2010 census. [Carbon dioxide and hydrogen dioxide are bi-products of human life.]

They will tax and "fee" anything, even the air you breathe.

[Any similarity to sarcasm is wholly intended.]

November 19, 2009 at 5:34 p.m.
Salsa said...

It has been reported elsewhere that the City of Chattanooga is facing a large fine from the EPA. It was stated that "Chattanooga has had the permit for 11 years. There was a lack of compliance in 2005 and a severe lack of compliance now."

Maybe the Mayor and the City Council members should be required to pay that fine personally for failing to act in the past and bringing us to this situation.

November 19, 2009 at 8:27 p.m.

Yet another screwup that happened on this current City administration's watch with the burden for their incompetence, lack of accountability,and negligence in failing to act in a timely manner being shifted onto the average tax payer and struggling businesses.

All this will do is further hurt Chattanooga's struggling economy and motivate business now based in Chattanooga to look at the obvious tax, profit margin and overhead cost advantages of moving south across the Georgia state line, taking jobs with them as they do.

Would not be surprised if there is also a mass exodus of residents to south of the border.

City Government is becoming more burden than blessing with each passing day.

Amazing that Hamilton County managed to stay in compliance for only $600k per year, while the city needs to $22 million per year and up to straighten up their mess.

November 19, 2009 at 11:52 p.m.
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