The City Council was told Tuesday that the city's cost for issuing sewer bills will rise from the current $243,000 per year to $852,000.
That is because Tennessee American Water Company is no longer willing to include the sewer bill with the water bill. Public Works Administrator Steve Leach said water company officials are telling all cities it deals with that its new software would not accommodate the sewer billing.
Councilman Benson called it "somewhat tragic." He said citizens "will now have to mail separate envelopes with separate stamps."
And he noted the city's bill is rising over $600,000.
Councilwoman Sally Robinson said of the water company, "It's a terrible burden on everyone they serve."
She added, "I don't understand it. It seems crazy."
Enco Utility Services will be handling the sewer billing for Chattanooga, Rossville and the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority beginning the first of next year.
The old cost was 40.5 cents per bill. The new cost is $1.42 per bill.
There were three bidders to provide the service, and Enco was the least expensive, officials said.