Chattanooga City Council members will decide tonight whether to implement key elements of a newly formed water and wastewater treatment authority backed by Mayor Ron Littlefield.
Last month, the council voted to approve the formation of the Moccasin Bend Clean Water Authority, which would manage regional wastewater flow and treatment. Last week, the group opted to defer a resolution entering the city into a $100,000 agreement with a wet-infrastructure company and creating a five-member board to oversee the authority in its initial stages.
The company, MWH Americas Inc., was selected by Littlefield after a request for expressions of interest was issued for applicants interested in taking on the project. The group has a global presence and scores of federal and municipal clients.
The board would be comprised of five members, each being nominated by five organizations with an interest in the city. Current nominees include Phil Ball of the Chattanooga Regional Manufacturers Association, Mark Blazek of the Chattanooga Association of Realtors, Maria Noel of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, Don Moon of the Homebuilders Association of Southeast Tennessee and Bruce Case of the Association of General Contractors of East Tennessee.
In the past, Littlefield has compared the board structure to other corporate "umbrella" entities, such as the Electric Power Board and the Chattanooga Airport Authority. The mayor, whose term expires in March, has also said he chose to introduce the proposal in part to pave the way for a future mayor and council to address the issue of managing regional water flow.
Before opting to defer their vote last week, Councilwoman Deborah Scott suggested tabling the resolution for four months—well past the March 5 election day. Scott cast the lone no vote against delaying the vote on the measure until tonight.
The council meets for its regular meeting this evening at 6 p.m. in the council chamber, located at 1000 Lindsay St.