North Ooltewah homeowners were jubilant Wednesday when Hamilton County commissioners voted against allowing a sewage treatment plant on Mahan Gap Road.
A packed crowd cheered and applauded at the 6-3 vote after two months of hard work to stall what many saw as a done deal that could ruin their financial security and their quality of life.
But supporters of the plant said the vote is a big setback both for continued growth and for plans to combat the problem of massive sewage spills from broken or overloaded pumps.
County Mayor Jim Coppinger spoke Wednesday about the need for new sewer capacity in the fastest-growing part of the county.
"You don't want it on Mahan Gap Road, I get that. But if it doesn't go there, it has to go somewhere," Coppinger said.