Coppinger Asks Community To Work With WWTA On Sewage Plant Site; Won't Rule Out Mahan Gap Road

Friday, February 22, 2019 - by Gail Perry

A meeting held Thursday night by Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger was aimed at cooperation between residents opposed to a new sewage treatment plant that had been planned on Mahan Gap Road in Ooltewah and the WWTA. The mayor proposed hitting a “reset button” by creating a community committee that would work alongside the WWTA in finding the best location to build a new facility. The committee would have between five and seven community representatives.

Engineering consultant Scott McDonald, who was hired by the WWTA, was charged with finding the best site to put a new plant that could handle added capacity of sewer services created by recent and future growth in the area as well as additional water from runoff during periods of heavy rain. He came up with the same location that was identified in 1971 as the best place because “it drains like a bathtub,” said the mayor. The goal is to prevent building large, unsightly storage tanks that would hold raw sewage until capacity was available to treat it and pump it, said County Mayor Coppinger, “They’re not pretty or healthy for the community.”  There will be a concerted effort to hide whatever is built and make it odorless, he said.

There have already been eight potential sites identified, including Mahan Gap. County Mayor Coppinger did not rule out the Mahan Gap location, saying that would be up to the committee. With the choices they will be given it is hoped that one can be agreed upon. To move the site, he said, would take extra money. "I can’t make that money happen, I can only request it," he told the audience. Any money has to be approved by the Hamilton County Commission. He said that changing the location would require an additional $16 million to $20 million because a different site would need to be bought. The option that the WWTA has for the Mahan Gap property will run out in March, he said.

Alternative plans recommended by various speakers Thursday night would limit future development. Plans such as making a developer responsible for building sewage treatment for individual subdivisions or allowing new construction to use septic  systems would all require large amounts of property. A round of applause came after County Mayor Coppinger said that would be so costly that nothing would be developed. He acknowledged that the audience wanted no development whatsoever, but he said that is just growth and the government cannot control that.

Multiple citizens requested responsible growth saying the reason they live in Ooltewah is because of the large properties that allow open spaces. “We don’t want to become East Brainerd with houses on quarter acre lots,” said one speaker. County Mayor Coppinger said there is a regional plan for this area and suggested taking those concerns to the Regional Planning Agency. He said there are a number of agencies that control growth but the government cannot because they do not own the property. He said that cities can pass ordinances to regulate growth. He also said that plans developed by the WWTA must be approved by the EPA. But, he said, the EPA does not care about growth, just about health. 


Latest Bradley County Arrest Report

Get Emailed Headlines From Chattanoogan.com; Like Us On Facebook, Twitter For Instant News

Fire Damages Home On Amhurst Avenue Early Monday Morning


Click here for the latest Bradley County arrest report. (click for more)

We send out headlines each week day of the latest Chattanooga news. Our news headlines have links that take you to the stories with a click. We also send out special emails if there ... (click for more)

Chattanooga firefighters responded to a house fire at 117 Amhurst Ave. around 3 a.m. on Monday. The first firefighters on the scene reported significant flames on the backside of the house. ... (click for more)


Breaking News

Latest Bradley County Arrest Report

Click here for the latest Bradley County arrest report. (click for more)

Get Emailed Headlines From Chattanoogan.com; Like Us On Facebook, Twitter For Instant News

We send out headlines each week day of the latest Chattanooga news. Our news headlines have links that take you to the stories with a click. We also send out special emails if there is a highly significant local news story breaking so you will be aware of it quickly. To be added to the email headline list, just email us at news@chattanoogan.com. In addition, ... (click for more)

Opinion

Growth Can Continue At Ooltewah On Septic Tanks

I want to set the record straight about growth in North Hamilton County. On Feb. 21, 2019, County Mayor Coppinger called a “reset” meeting with the residents of Ooltewah/Harrison over the proposed sewer plant in North Hamilton County. In front of this community, I stood up and specifically asked the county mayor if growth could continue in Ooltewah and Harrison on septic tanks ... (click for more)

Our Roads Need To Be Repaired For Ironman - And Response

Chattanooga being a finalist for the 2021 Ironman is great news. The business gained at the local bicycle repair shops from bent rims, busted tires and warped frames should produce some great local revenue. The local physicians should see a surge as well from the twisted ankles and busted up knees from dips, humps and pot holes on our area roads that could swallow a small child. ... (click for more)

Sports

Vols Headed For Sweet 16 After Heart-Stopping OT Win Over Iowa

Tennessee is headed for the Sweet 16 after a heart-stopping 83-77 overtime win over Iowa in Columbus, Ohio, on Sunday. The Vols face Purdue in Louisville on Thursday. Tennessee stormed out to a 25-point lead over the Hawkeyes and led 49-28 at the half. However, Iowa went on 12-2 and 10-2 runs to eventually tie it in one of the biggest comebacks in tournament history. ... (click for more)

7,285 Fans Show Up For First CFC Contest Of The Season; Guatemala Wins 2-0

The Chattanooga Football Club drew 7,285 fans to Finley Stadium for the club's first soccer contest of the year. CFC fell 2-0 to a team from Guatemala. Among those in attendance was t he Guatemalan ambassador to the US Manuel Alfredo Espina Pinto. CFC recently made a public offering so that supporters could become owners of the team. (click for more)