City Council Members Inundated With Complaints About New Sewer Bills; Hit Methods Of California Firm

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

City Council members said they are inundated with complaints about new sewer billings from a company in California - especially a $3 service fee.

Councilwoman Carol Berz called the actions of the firm "slimy."

Steve Leach, city public works administrator, said officials are in talks over what to do about the situation, and he said action will be taken.

He said it was the county which hired the California firm.

Councilwoman Sally Robinson, noting that the problem emerged after the Tennessee American Water Company quit handling the billings, said the matter is "a public relations disaster" for the water company.

But Mayor Ron Littlefield said he believes most people are taking their wrath out on the governments involved, instead of the water company.

He said the water company could have averted the problem for everyone by renegotiating its charges for adding the sewer charge to the water bill.

Council members said the billings from California are arriving just a few days before they are due to be paid. Councilwoman Berz said it seems to be coming via either "Pony Express or Slow Walk."

Councilman Peter Murphy said his wife is one of the chief complainants - especially after she opened the sewer bill and saw that it was due in three days or interest and penalties would be charged.

Councilman Jack Benson said, "This is one of the biggest problems we've had in a long time. And it's going to get worse."

Councilwoman Robinson asked if Chattanooga is the only city in the nation that does not own its own water system. Mayor Littlefield said there are a few, including Lexington, Ky., that he said is going through the same problems as Chattanooga.   

City resident Mike Mallen said he still has not gotten his sewer bill, so he said, "To try to be pro-active, i called the number for "pay by phone."

He said the main number had a message for "the Chattanooga Sewer Line," but said customer service was not available. He said it gave another number to call "during regular business hours."

Mr. Mallen said he called the number during California's regular business hours and got a message saying it was not a working number.

He said, "So they've created a fictitious number for the pay by phone." 
  


Charleston, Tn., Man, 23, Struck And Killed While Trying To Cross I-75

A 23-year-old Charleston, Tn., man was struck and killed while trying to cross I-75 in Bradley County around 11:30 p.m. on Sunday. The victim was Trevor K. Renner. The Tennessee Highway Patrol said he walked from a median into traffic at mile marker 31 and was struck by two vehicles. The first one knocked him into the air and the second one hit him soon after he landed. ... (click for more)

Body Of 26-Year-Old Woman Found In Creek In Grundy County

The body of a 26-year-old woman was found in a creek in Grundy County on Sunday afternoon. The case is being treated as a homicide. The victim found in Ross Creek around 12:30 p.m. was Samantha Kathleen Chandler. She is from Gruetli-Laager. The TBI is involved in the probe. (click for more)

Marvelous News From Central High School

To Roy Exum:     With all the recent news of major dysfunctions within our educational system, I thought I might alert you to something better. About a year ago you ventured up Highway 58 to Central High School to represent your late grandfather, Roy McDonald, as he was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus during the annual Senior Day festivities. I sort of expected ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Teachers Day Tomorrow

Years ago at a ritzy dinner party in Westchester County, New York, an editor from Reader’s Digest was seated next to the prettiest woman in the room and noticed her overall glow and countenance was such that he had never noticed a tell-tale scar under her nose. After the dishes were cleared away, admit the mindless chatter, he asked if she would mind telling him about it. The ... (click for more)

Slegers, Lookouts Shutout Biscuits Sunday, 1-0

Less than 24 hours after steamrolling the Lookouts 12-0 on Saturday night, the Biscuits bats were silenced by Aaron Slegers (2-1), as the 6'10" right-hander shutout the Biscuits 1-0 on Sunday afternoon in Chattanooga.   Slegers eight inning performance was his longest in 11 career Double-A starts and was the longest outing by a Lookouts pitcher this year.  The right-hander ... (click for more)

Baylor Baseball Complex Dedicated to the Etters and Wyatt McMahan

It was the summer of 1961 and a 10-year-old boy and a college grad were starting their baseball journey – a journey which would eventually connect them for decades to come. While Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris were chasing the ghost of Babe Ruth and the then home run record of 60 round trippers, Wyatt McMahan was in his first year in Joe Engel’s Knothole League in White Oak ... (click for more)