published Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Chattanooga City Council OK's water authority budget


by Cliff Hightower

HOW THEY VOTED

Here's how the City Council voted on a resolution to spend $250,000 on the new water authority:

Yes

Carol Berz

Sally Robinson

Peter Murphy

Jack Benson

Manny Rico

No

Russell Gilbert

Andraé McGary

Deborah Scott

Pam Ladd

The Chattanooga City Council voted 5-4 Tuesday night to allow the city to spend up to $250,000 on creating the Moccasin Bend Cleanwater Authority.

Some council members who opposed the expenditure wanted to know if questions from employees — about 200 — who may be transferred to the authority have been answered.

"I want to make sure they are heard," Councilman Russell Gilbert said.

Some council members originally asked to delay a vote for two weeks so employees could voice their concerns. But Mayor Ron Littlefield implored the council to pass the measure so the authority can continue to move forward.

Issues about employee transfers, their pay and benefits can be addressed later.

"We're not at that point yet," he said.

The $250,000 will be used to pay attorney fees on drafting bylaws for the new authority, which will house the sewer and stormwater divisions.

In other business, the council approved:

• About $10 million in sewer improvements as part of the $210 million consent decree handed down by state and federal authorities last summer;

• A series of road improvement projects including a roundabout at Norcross and Gadd roads, a road widening on Gunbarrel Road from Shallowford Road to Hamilton Run Drive, and rehabilitation of Hamill Road from Adams Road to Greenway Farms.

Contact staff writer Cliff Hightower at chightower@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6480. Follow him at twitter.com/cliffhightower or facebook.com/cliff.hightower.

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