Chattanooga officials question water rate hike

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- A proposal to increase water rates by nearly 25 percent in Chattanooga has prompted the city's officials to question the need and motive behind such a large rate hike.

City Attorney Mike McMahan told The Chattanooga Times Free Press that he hopes to convince Tennessee American Water officials that the increase is too high before the company requests approval from the Tennessee Regulatory Authority.

The water utility is asking for a proposed 24.9 percent increase, which company spokesman Vince Butler says is for capital improvements such as repairs to meters, pipes and water tanks.

Mayor Ron Littlefield said the water company has been unwilling to compromise during previous rate increase proposals. McMahan said he's not trying to stop the increase, but make it more reasonable.

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Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press, http://www.timesfreepress.com


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