published Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

WWTA suit against East Ridge family continues

Rick Carpenter, 48, stands in front of his East Ridge duplex in this file picture. Carpenter has made several signs protesting the WWTA for sewer charges.
Rick Carpenter, 48, stands in front of his East Ridge duplex in this file picture. Carpenter has made several signs protesting the WWTA for sewer charges.
Photo by Tim Barber.

After a two-year battle with the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority, East Ridge resident Rick Carpenter had his day in court Tuesday. But a ruling won't come until 8:30 a.m. Friday, after Chancellor Jeffery Atherton has read all of the final briefs in the case.

Carpenter and his wife, Anna Grace Carpenter, were sued in March by the WWTA over more than $500 in unpaid sewer bills.

Rick Carpenter says he has tried to settle the bill repeatedly, but WWTA won't accept cash, and none of the retail locations contracted to collect sewer billing will take a payment without adding a service fee.

WWTA attorney Chris Clem said the authority is suing for the unpaid bills and says there is nothing illegal about WWTA's billing contract with a California-based company called ENCO. He is also asking Atherton to limit the number of times per month Rick Carpenter can call WWTA staff, saying he has harassed them with phone calls in the past.

Tuesday was the second and last day of the trial against the Carpenters, and Atherton said he would give a ruling Friday.

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