WWTA Sues East Ridge Over Road Cut Fees

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA) has filed suit against the city of East Ridge over the issue of road cut fees.

The complaint filed in Chancery Court says the WWTA is being billed (or about to be billed) $200 per cut and may have to make over 5,000 cuts in East Ridge while fixing lines going from homes to the sewer system.

The suit says East Ridge entered into an interlocal agreement with East Ridge in 2001 at a time when John Anderson was the attorney for the WWTA.

He is now the city attorney for East Ridge.

It says East Ridge has not charged the WWTA for road cuts before, nor have Lakesite, Lookout Mountain, Red Bank, Ridgeside, Signal Mountain or Soddy Daisy.

The suit filed by attorney Chris Clem says the WWTA has the right to impose special assessments against member cities if it determines there are special costs involved. That was done against Red Bank and it likely will be done against Signal Mountain, it was stated.

The complaint says, "The WWTA has the authority to assess a special assessment against the customers in East Ridge should the WWTA determine that the costs associated with customers within East Ridge are higher than other customers similarly situated."

The court is asked to find that the road cut charges are in violation of the interlocal agreement and issue an injunction blocking any such charges.   

East Ridge Council members recently considered a resolution calling for East Ridge to pull out of the WWTA and resume operation of its sewer system. The resolution failed 3-2.

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