published Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

City OKs stormwater projects

by Cliff Hightower

Chattanooga City Council members voted 9-0 Tuesday night to proceed with two of the city’s first stormwater projects but balked at rehabilitation of a stormwater project at a private golf course.

The city agreed to pay $66,515 for a Brainerd Road stormwater drainage project and $315,500 for a north St. Elmo stormwater drainage project. Public Works officials said those drainage areas have numerous pipes that are failing.

But the council voted 8-1 to defer for three weeks a resolution to pay $750,000 to fix the Sterling Avenue drainage system that runs through the privately owned Chattanooga Golf & Country Club. Council members raised questions about whether the city should fix a drainage system on private property.

Councilman Peter Murphy said the city is being unfair by agreeing to fix a stormwater system on the private golf club property but not on residents’ private property.

“We need to have something on what we are going to do, and what we’re not going to do,” Murphy said during the council’s regular business meeting.

Mayor Ron Littlefield said repairing the thousands of drainage problems across the city will be a step-by-step process.

“Let’s address these big problems,” he said.

Council members said they have concerns there is no written policy on what the city should work on with stormwater projects.

Steve Leach, administrator for the Department of Public Works, said within the next few weeks the city would start looking at minimum requirements of stormwater projects.

Contact Cliff Hightower at or 423-757-6480. Follow him on Twitter at

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Sorceress said...

It's amazing that the County is in full compliance with Federal requirements regarding storm-water runoff, even got a kudos from the Feds on their performance, and the typical county storm water fee for a 2400 square foot home is only around $9.00 per year (x90,000 county residents about $810,000), while city residents are paying over $100 per year.. So the County is able to remain in full compliance for around $1 million per year, but the City needs $13 million to stay in compliance?

Something is amiss. Either the State and Fed EPA are just flat out gouging the city of Chattanooga, or the city is raising a little extra somethingfor their rainy day fund, under the guise of storm-water fees.

Perhaps Ron Littlefield should sit down with County Mayor Claude Ramsey, (since they are such good buddies as Littlefield keeps saying) and ask for a few pointers from his good old buddy Claude on how to do the City's storm-water issues right and for under $2 Million per year.

September 29, 2010 at 4:13 p.m.
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