Hamilton County sewer authority could see major changes

Tennessee State Rep. Mike Carter attends a dedication ceremony Thursday, July 31, 2014, in Harrison, Tenn., naming a section of Highway 58 as a memorial to volunteer firefighter Shane Daughetee who lost his life battling a house fire in 2007.

NASHVILLE - Hamilton County officials are exploring possible changes to the county's troubled sewer authority that apparently could include partnering with the city of Chattanooga's wastewater operation, Rep. Mike Carter, R-Ooltewah, said on the House floor Wednesday.

Carter's initial comments about the creation of a much larger sewer agency came as he tried to address local colleagues' concerns about his bill dealing with the troubled Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Authority.

The original bill sought to "wind down" the WWTA's operations and abolish it in 2021. Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, who has the Senate companion measure, has previously said the bill is intended to create a sense of urgency for local officials in addressing the sewer authority's many problems.

A former attorney for the WWTA, Carter pushed on the House floor an amendment to a bill to accelerate the previously passed Senate bill's "sunset" date by two years to July 1, 2019.