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Front Page - Friday, December 28, 2018

Hamilton County Commission denies plan for wastewater treatment plant

The Hamilton County Commission has voted to deny a special permit for a proposed wastewater treatment plant to service North Hamilton County. The plant would have been placed at 7800 Mahan Gap Road.

After months of community meetings hosted by the Waste Water Treatment Authority and those in opposition, both sides were given a final opportunity to provide presentations to Hamilton County Commissioners at the last agenda session, held on Dec. 12. The commissioners listened and asked questions of the presenters over the course of the five-hour session.

With the denial to allow the WWTA to apply for a Special Permit for the Wastewater Treatment Plant, the WWTA will be considering all options as it makes plans to meet the needs of North Hamilton County.

“While we’re disappointed by the vote, we know we must continue to find ways to meet the future needs of Hamilton County,” says WWTA Executive Director Mark Harrison. “The last thing any of us want is to stall economic development or find ourselves in a moratorium that will effectively stop the healthy economy we’ve worked hard to achieve.”

WWTA Board Chair Mike Moon says, “The WWTA Board was unwilling to add an additional $16 (million) to $21 million to move the proposed plant to another location. We face huge financial challenges with the upcoming consent decree, and as a board, we decided to take steps that would allow us to keep the pricing as low as possible while meeting the community’s needs.”

Both Harrison and Moon noted that the decision by the Hamilton County Commission was extremely difficult and that they appreciated the questions and concerns expressed by commissioners.

“The vote will cause additional challenges as we plan to meet future needs,” Moon says. “However, we remain determined to do all we can to take steps to continue the strong economy we all enjoy.

“We appreciate the passion of the Ooltewah community and the time given to public consideration and discussion by the Hamilton County Commission.”

Source: WWTA