County Commissioners Vow To Work Toward Solving Sewage Treatment Problem In North Hamilton County

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

County Commission members said they will get busy dealing with a major sewage treatment problem in North Hamilton County.

Chairman Sabrena Smedley, a realtor, said, "No one understands the need to move on this more than me."

But she said county leaders need to "fully vet" all available options, including the possibility of the sale of the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority (WWTA) to a private firm.

Commissioner Warren Mackey said, "We were lied to about three or more companies wanting to buy the WWTA."

However, Chairman Smedley retorted, "That's not true. I have personally talked to two of the companies."

She said even if the controversial Mahan Gap Road site had been approved, it would have been seven years until it was in operation. She said a private firm may be able to provide relief quicker.

She also said that "new information keeps coming out every day" on the issue.

Commissioner Mackey called for a public discussion on the problem. He said, "The EPA is breathing down our necks over $248 million in needed work. We are about to be fined some big money."

He said Ooltewah is a high growth area, "but without the sewers it's not going to happen."

Commissioner Mackey said, "We've got to do the tough work even though we may make a few people angry."

Commissioner Katherlyn Geter, who voted against the Mahan Gap Road site, said, "I don't appreciate being bullied." WWTA officials after that vote said they wanted Ms. Geter to help them find locations for sewage treatment holding tanks.

Commissioner Geter said, "We need to fully vet every single option. We still have not gotten there. We have to do this the right way."

 


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