Collegedale On Hold On Sewage It Can Accept From The WWTA

Tuesday, December 8, 2015 - by Gail Perry
Officer Brian Desmond and new K-9 Evo
Officer Brian Desmond and new K-9 Evo
- photo by Gail Perry

Collegedale is the only small city in Hamilton County that owns its own sewer system. The pumping station for the system is in the Collegedale city limits, but is owned by Chattanooga. The other small cities and towns in the county contract with the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA) for sewer services.


The Chattanooga area is under a decree to rehabilitate all sewers. The contractual daily flow with Chattanooga allows Collegedale to pump 4.56 million gallons of sewage through this station daily.

There is a WWTA line that joins the Collegedale line just short of the pumping station. When the plan was put in place, sewage coming from the WWTA line was 7 percent of the amount going through the Collegedale pump station. That amount has steadily increased to 52 percent which counts against the total that is allowed for Collegedale.


On Nov. 2, Collegedale instigated a moratorium that stopped WWTA from any amount above that 52 percent flow of sewage into the pump station. At the Collegedale Commission meeting Monday night, the commission suspended the sewer moratorium until Jan. 31 to allow WWTA to develop a concrete proposal to present to the city for how its sewage will be managed.


At the meeting, public hearings were also held on several amendments to the city’s zoning ordinance. The commissioners voted to update Collegedale’s flood plain maps to match new FEMA maps. This was required to participate in the FEMA flood insurance plans.


Another change cleaned up language in the zoning ordinance which had different definitions for multi-family units and for apartments. City Planner Kelly Martin said the two designations were the same thing, so the definition for multi-family units was removed from the ordinance.


Throughout the zoning ordinance were references to billboards. Because the use of billboards is regulated by the city’s sign ordinance, the references were removed from the zoning ordinance.


Votes to accept the three zoning ordinance amendments on first readings were all unanimous, as was the decision to apply for a TDOT Multi Modal Access Grant. This purpose of this grant is to connect different modes of transportation, and would allow the city to expand the already planned pedestrian paths and bike lanes to connect with the bus stop on Little Debbie Parkway. If received, this grant would provide 95 percent of the cost for construction, leaving the city responsible for just five percent.


A garbage truck with only 190,000 miles has been out of commission because the engine needs to be rebuilt. Director of Public Works Eric Sines has negotiated with the manufacturer to pay $2,300 and $1,200 to be paid from the dealership where it was bought, because the major problems occurred too soon. The commission approved for the city to pay $12,081 for repairs in order to get the truck back in service.


In communications from citizens, Jim Waron asked the commissioners for changes to the Collegedale Airport. Mr. Waron has leased a hanger there for the past 10 years, and stores an airplane, helicopter and motorcycle in the building. Recently insulation was added to the roof. The work was done without notifying Mr. Waron or without removing the vehicles. After the work, he noticed that something had been dropped that went through the wing of the plane, a radio is missing, and there is a dent in the motorcycle. Additionally, he said “the roof leaks like a sieve.” Despite the damage cited, Mr. Waron said his main concern is that there is no access to public restrooms after the airport building is closed for the night. The issues will be discussed at the next commission workshop, said Mayor Katie Lamb.


Police Chief Brian Hickman introduced the city’s newest officer to the commissioners, a K-9 partner named Evo. He is a four-year-old Belgian Malinois. His handler, Collegedale Police Officer Desmond, said the dog is proficient in tracking, article searches, bite work, building clearing, narcotics, and vehicle and house searches among other things.

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