Planning Commission Recommends Denial For Permit For Ooltewah Sewage Treatment Plant

Monday, November 12, 2018
Mark Harrison of the WWTA
Mark Harrison of the WWTA

The Planning Commission on Monday afternoon recommended denial for a sewage treatment plant for Ooltewah on Mahan Gap Road.  

The final decision will be by the County Commission, which will hold a zoning committee meeting on Dec. 12 and a regular session on Dec. 19.

Opponents to the project overflowed the meeting room at the County Courthouse and dozens who could not get inside were out in the courthouse rotunda.

Four commission members opposed the motion by Commissioner Chester Bankston to deny the permit, but the majority voted in favor of denial.  Developer Barry Payne recused himself. 

Jason Farmer, of the Planning Commission said he felt it is "absolutely necessary to build a sewage treatment plant at some site, but not in the center of this neighborhood."

The Regional Planning Agency staff had asked for a 30-day deferral to obtain more information about the project, and the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA) asked for a 60-day delay.

However, Commissioner Bankston quickly moved for a denial as the discussion started.

He said there are better sites north of the Mahan Gap property that the WWTA has under option to buy. 

Mark Harrison, WWTA executive director, said it would be much more costly to build the plant at the old Birchwood Landfill or another site to the north.  He said the Mahan Gap site could receive sewage mainly by gravity flow.

A line of speakers said the plant would harm property values, bring odors, and could cause health problems for children and others.

Several speakers said they did not believe the WWTA has been forthright with the community and had been misleading.

Mr. Harrison said if the plant is built elsewhere, the WWTA would likely still use the Mahan Gap property for a pump station and sewage containment.

He said the WWTA is already nearing the limit of sewage it can send to the city's Moccasin Bend Sewage Treatment Plant, and he said it is projected that 1,500 more homes will be built in the Ooltewah area over the next 10 years.

Mike Moon, chairman of the WWTA Board, said afterward, “We appreciate the questions that are being asked and the thoughtful methodical approach the RPA is giving to this process. We know there is a great deal of work ahead of us, but we are confident in the expertise around the table to make the best decision for Hamilton County’s future.”

Mr. Harrison said, "We do everything we can to be mindful of the cost of our services to our customers.  As we plan for the future, while cost is an issue, it is not the only issue.  We must continue to focus on the welfare of our community as well as the impact on economic development our actions will have both now and in the future.  We are going to focus our efforts on answering the questions and concerns of homeowners located within close proximity to the proposed plant as well as to the 367,000 citizens of Hamilton County who need to know about our efforts.  We appreciate the RPA’s leadership in this matter.”

 

Overflow crowd at the Planning Commission
Overflow crowd at the Planning Commission

10 Sets Of Chattanooga In Old Photos And Paul Hiener’s Historic Chattanooga To Be Given Away In Contest

Police Blotter: Woman Wants Police To Look For Mysterious Wanted Man; Man Says Comcast Router Damaged His Computer

Special Meeting Set Jan. 20 On Future Of Wrecker Business In Chattanooga


You can win a set of two of the books in the four-volume Chattanooga Photo Series of old Chattanooga photos in a contest sponsored by Chattanoogan.com, publisher of the books. There will be ... (click for more)

Police spoke with a woman on West Shepherd Road who said she saw a wanted man at this location. Police checked the area and couldn’t find the man or any warrants for a person by that name. Police ... (click for more)

The Chattanooga Wrecker Board comprised of members of the Chattanooga Beer Board plans to meet with owners of wrecker businesses throughout the city on Jan. 20. The meeting will start at 9 a.m. ... (click for more)



Breaking News

10 Sets Of Chattanooga In Old Photos And Paul Hiener’s Historic Chattanooga To Be Given Away In Contest

You can win a set of two of the books in the four-volume Chattanooga Photo Series of old Chattanooga photos in a contest sponsored by Chattanoogan.com, publisher of the books. There will be 10 winners of Chattanooga in Old Photos and Paul Hiener’s Historic Chattanooga. To enter, just email news@chattanoogan.com with note: Books Contest. Chattanooga in Old Photos includes ... (click for more)

Police Blotter: Woman Wants Police To Look For Mysterious Wanted Man; Man Says Comcast Router Damaged His Computer

Police spoke with a woman on West Shepherd Road who said she saw a wanted man at this location. Police checked the area and couldn’t find the man or any warrants for a person by that name. Police transported the woman to her residence on Talladega Avenue. * * * A woman called police and said her Glock 19 9mm handgun was stolen from the La Quinta Inn at 7051 McCutcheon Road. ... (click for more)

Opinion

In Praise Of EV - And Response (2)

Roy, sometimes I think I envy your uncanny ability to compartmentalize, draw bright lines and to simply conclude that thing one is good and thing two is bad. No electric vehicle for you. In Roy’s universe: Batteries are bad. Gasoline is good. My 30+ years of practicing environmental law and addressing legacy environmental impacts have proved otherwise. As the Eagles ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Winter Blues

Doctors call it Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and scientists are convinced about 10 million Americans suffer from what is commonly known as ‘The Winter Blues.’ Now about the last thing I want to write about is SAD and I know some people will not warm to the subject. But those who know me best know that I’ve had a problem with depression for years. I dutifully take two pills ... (click for more)

Sports

Dan Fleser: Vols, Lady Vols Reinventing Themselves

The Tennessee Vols bounced back from a sputtering start in their previous game and routed Presbyterian on Tuesday night at Thompson-Boling Arena. One night later, the Tennessee Lady Vols showed more scoring depth in beating Tennessee Tech. Both teams made progress, which arguably is as important now as results. This portion of a basketball season is crucial for sorting ... (click for more)

#11/10 Lady Vols Fly Past Golden Eagles, 76-48

Rolling to its second consecutive win of 25 points or more, the No. 11/10 Tennessee women's basketball team defeated Tennessee Tech, 76-48, Wednesday night at Thompson-Boling Arena. Tennessee (7-0) has now won nine consecutive games at Thompson-Boling Arena. That is its longest streak of the Kellie Harper era and longest since UT rattled off 11 straight from Feb. 19, 2017, ... (click for more)