Chattanooga City Council passes budget on final vote

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – The Chattanooga City Council passed the Fiscal Year 2019 budget with a Water Quality Fee increase.

They took a final vote on the budget during the agenda meeting Tuesday evening.

All council members voted yes except for two, District 3 Council Member Ken Smith and District 1 Council Member Chip Henderson.

Council Member Henderson said his concern was on the Water Quality Fee increase.

“Even though it’s an eleven dollar increase this coming year, it will be another increase for the next five years consecutively which will be six consecutive years of a tax increase, and I just felt like that was more than our citizens can bear,” Council Member Henderson said.

According to officials, the Water Quality Fees and increase will be waived for people in the senior citizen tax freeze and relief programs.

The fees will be paid through the general operating fund.

In the $273 million budget, the money is going to various operations impacting residents priorities that include safer streets and stronger neighborhoods.

“In my district, we’re going to improve some of the centers, which is a great thing. I think with dealing with employees they’ll be receiving an increase is a good thing. So over all I think it’s a good budget,” District 5 Council Member Russell Gilbert said.

Council Member Henderson said a positive is the $6 million for the paving budget.

He said that budget has increased significantly over the past four years.

“We still have roads all over our district, many in my district that need to be repaired, need to be resurfaced, some need to be even reconstructed that they’ve fallen in such disrepair,” Council Member Henderson said.

As for the Water Quality Fee increase, Both Council Members Gilbert and Henderson are satisfied that it won’t apply to certain Seniors.

Council Member Henderson said the fee increase will be on property tax bills in the fall of next year.

Categories: Chattanooga, Local News

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