Deadline to appeal water quality fee extended

Deadline to appeal water quality fee extended

December 16th, 2009 by Cliff Hightower in Politics Local

The nine-member City Council unanimously approved extending the deadline for appeals on the city's new water quality fee.

The new deadline is March 1, 2010. The original deadline was Dec. 31.

Council Chairman Jack Benson told council members that the recommendation to extend the deadline came directly from the council's independent committee set up to look at water quality fees.

"You can see how seriously they take their challenge," Mr. Benson said. "This is their first action item."

The water quality fee has been controversial in recent months after the council approved raising it from $36 to $115.20 a year for residences. Some businesses, industry and institutions can pay even more because they can qualify as multiple residences.

The council also voted 9-0 Tuesday to approve a resolution giving support for the widening and straightening of U.S. Highway 27 just south of Olgiati Bridge. City officials said the Tennessee Department of Transportation plans to start working on widening the highway in the near future.

WHAT'S NEXT

The City Council's independent committee on water quality fees will meet at 10 a.m. Thursday in the City Council building and look over the budget for the fees.

The state plans to pay for the entire road project, city officials said, but the resolution did not say how much the project would cost.

"Are we saying there's no city dollars involved or city man hours involved?" Councilwoman Deborah Scott asked.

City Engineer Bill Payne said all the money would come from state and federal dollars.

Councilman Andraé McGary asked about the affect on surrounding residents.

"How will we know the affect on communities?" he asked.

Mr. Payne said numerous community meetings have been held in the area and the project has been discussed for almost five years.