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." 
  


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ADAMS, CHRISTOPHER MICHAEL  10212 LOVELL RD SODDY DAISY, 37379  Age at Arrest: 36 years old Arresting Agency: Red Bank FAILURE TO APPEAR --- AVILA, MARLON PATRICK  49 ARLINGTON DRIVE NW ATLANTA, 30311  Age at Arrest: 42 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County AGGRAVATED ASSAULT ... (click for more)

Cleveland Police Seek Information On Group Cashing Stolen Checks

The Cleveland Police Department's Criminal Investigations Division is working a case where a quantity of business checks were stolen out of a local business in Decatur. The stolen checks have been cashed in Cleveland and Collegedale. Based on video surveillance, officials believe the suspects are traveling together.  Anyone with information on any of these suspects ... (click for more)

The Heart Of A Teacher Makes A Difference

In less than four weeks, I expect to be one of 216 graduating seniors from East Hamilton School. One could say all possible variables help a student rise to the highest levels in school; but a student is more than his environment or genetic code. He is a mixture of his own propensity and dedication to academics, coupled with a systemic team of mentors who give their all as a student’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Would Mr. Summers’ Clients…

It was a beautiful day at Orange Grove Friday as the nationally-famed center, which cares for over 1,000 intellectually disabled children of all ages, celebrated its annual “Lunch of Champions” with a packed house in the Bucky Williams Gymnasium. Jerry Summers, who insiders know has done more for Orange Grove than any other man alive, not only emceed the event as he does every year, ... (click for more)

Hannah Wood Leads Red Bank To Two Tournament Wins

Friday was a pretty good day for the Red Bank Lionettes softball team. Hosting a six-team tournament, the Lionettes won two games on the opening day, holding off Lookout Valley by a 6-4 final in the first one before winning by a more comfortable 11-3 margin over Sequatchie County in the second one. Hannah Wood was the sparkplug in both as she had three hits twice and was the ... (click for more)

Manning Makes $3 Million Leadership Grant To UT

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.  – Five-time National Football League Most Valuable Player   Peyton Manning   and his wife, Ashley, announced Friday a $3 million leadership commitment to the University of Tennessee. This gift commitment will benefit both the Tennessee football program and the   Peyton Manning   Scholarship Endowment. This commitment ... (click for more)