Five members have been nominated to serve on the new Moccasin Bend Clean Water Authority. However, the drive to launch the new authority hit a bump on Tuesday night when the City Council voted 8-1 to defer action for a week on spending $100,000 to hire consultants to help start it.
Mayor Ron Littlefield had recommended that the council hire MWH Americas to help organize the MBCWA.
The council on the previous Tuesday approved the authority.
Councilwoman Deborah Scott said such an effort ought to await a new mayor and council.
She said, "A regional authority requires regional partners and regional cooperation." She said the MBCWA was a "unilateral action" without partners and was "very ill-timed."
She said the Littlefield administration had repeated failures on water issues, "and not a person was fired or demoted."
Councilman Jack Benson, saying, "I couldn't disagree more," said Mayor Littlefield had broad experience with public works and was the one to get it off the ground. He said there likely would be a significant delay with a new mayor and council. .
On naming the first board, the organizations and their nominees are:
Chattanooga Regional Manufacturers Association - Phil Ball, retired president of W.R. Grace Company
Chattanooga Association of Realtors - Mark Blazek, CAR president
Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce - Maria Noel
Home Builders Association - developer Don Moon
Associated General Contractors - contractor Bruce Case
Mayor Ron Littlefield said the new organization will start out with 262 employees and a budget of $66 million.
The five-member board will oversee the stormwater and sanitary sewer sections now under city public works.
Mayor Littlefield said it is designed to operate similar to the EPB, which he said has been an outstanding success.
He said the first board members will have terms ending in June so that the new mayor and City Council can have direct input on the future of the group.