City May Dip Into Rainy Day Fund To Delay Water Quality Fee Rise 1 Year; Speakers Hit Fee Rise

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

City Council members may dip into the city's Rainy Day Fund to hold off a planned sharp rise in the water quality fee by a year.

Councilman Chip Henderson suggested taking $2 million from the general reserve and designating it for water quality projects. He said the state MTAS group as well as the city auditor said that could be done.

He said the city could use the year's time to come up with "a more equitable way to assess the fee."

Councilman Henderson also said there needs to be a continual focus on how to achieve efficiencies in the water quality program to trim costs and mitigate the need for the fee hike.

He said of the funds transfer, "This is not something we would want to do every year, but it is OK as a one-time measure."

He indicated it could be coupled with a lowering of the property tax rate so as not to shift the water quality burden to the property owners.

There was also discussion of whether those assessed the fee could have the option of paying it monthly instead of being hit with a large one-time bill along with the property tax bill.

Councilman Henderson said he wanted to hear which method citizens would favor.

At a public hearing on Tuesday night, a number of speakers were critical of the water quality fee increase.

Richard Beeland, executive director of the Home Builders Association, asked the council to remove it from the overall budget and give it special consideration.

Sandy Kurtz of the South Chickamauga Creek Greenway Alliance, said the plan was crafted behind closed doors and approved by the Stormwater Board with very little public notice.

She said all streams in the city are still classified as impaired. She said the streams are only tested every five years.

Geoff Ramsey, president of the Chattanooga Board of Realtors, said the increase would affect the ability to have affordable homes in the city.

He said the plan was introduced to the public only three days before it first went before the Stormwater Board. He said it was "a done deal" with little public input.

David Hamill recommended that the city get some of its water quality revenue from a fee charged to drivers. He said about 20 percent of the impervious area is in roadways.


Jeff Smith Is Winner Of Zarzour's Drawing For Set Of Chattanooga Photo Books

Glen Casada Chosen By House Republicans As Speaker

Corker, Menendez Demand Determination On Saudi Crown Prince Role In Murder Of Jamal Khashoggi


Jeff Smith is the winner of a drawing at Zarzour's Restaurant on the Southside for a set of the Chattanooga Photo Books, including the new book Chattanooga in Old Photos, sponsored by Chattanoogan.com. ... (click for more)

Rep. Glen Casada was chosen by House Republicans as House Speaker on Tuesday afternoon. Rep. Bill Dunn will be Speaker Pro Tempore. Rep. William Lamberth will serve as Majority Leader and ... (click for more)

In a letter to President Donald Trump, U.S. Senators Bob Corker and Bob Menendez, chairman and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Tuesday demanded the administration ... (click for more)


Breaking News

Jeff Smith Is Winner Of Zarzour's Drawing For Set Of Chattanooga Photo Books

Jeff Smith is the winner of a drawing at Zarzour's Restaurant on the Southside for a set of the Chattanooga Photo Books, including the new book Chattanooga in Old Photos, sponsored by Chattanoogan.com. Mr. Smith, an employee of Tuftco, is one of the Zarzour's regulars. Chattanooga in Old Photos is the fourth book in the collection called the Chattanooga Photo Books. The others ... (click for more)

Glen Casada Chosen By House Republicans As Speaker

Rep. Glen Casada was chosen by House Republicans as House Speaker on Tuesday afternoon. Rep. Bill Dunn will be Speaker Pro Tempore. Rep. William Lamberth will serve as Majority Leader and Rep. Cameron Sexton as Republican Caucus Chair. Rep. Rick Tillis will be Majority Whip, Paul Sherrell the Floor Leader and Ron Gant Assistant Majority Leader. (click for more)

Opinion

HES Can't Be Matched, Replicated Or Cheaply Duplicated

As a volunteer at the Humane Educational Society for four years, I have first-hand knowledge of the work this organization does and the conditions it has to overcome to do it. The 118-year-old facility in which the administration, staff and volunteers work every day is at the end of its road. A new shelter space is more than warranted. The good news is that there are county funds ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Thanksgiving Request

Just what if … this Thursday you could say "Thank you" to someone who, chances are, you never met nor even heard the other’s name? There is also no way you’ll ever get a thank-you note, nor have your Sunday School class friends at church whisper how much they richly appreciated your kind thoughtfulness, secretly aquiver that you will not tell them what it was that earned such praise ... (click for more)

Sports

UTC's Mack Finalist For 2018 Buck Buchanan Award

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga senior defensive lineman Isaiah Mack has been named a finalist for the 2018 Buck Buchanan Award. A mid-season addition to the Watch List, Mack is one of 25 finalist that was pared down as voting began today. A part of the 2018 STATS FCS legacy awards, the Buchanan Award, presented to the national defensive player of the year in college ... (click for more)

UTC Athletics Prepares For Giving Tuesday

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's Mocs Club announced that Chattanooga Athletics is participating in Giving Tuesday for the first time on November 27. The Mocs Club is using the day to launch its "Drive for 25" campaign. The campaign aims to raise $25,000 in scholarship funds for UTC student-athletes to which an anonymous donor has generously agreed to match. The ... (click for more)