City agrees to defer plan to buy land for wastewater storage tank after opposition

July 11th, 2017by Mike Parein Business Around the Region

A Chattanooga official agreed Monday to defer a plan to buy land for a 7 million gallon wet weather storage facility for wastewater near Lupton City after hearing opposition to the proposal.

"I think to defer is the best action," said Gail Hart, the city's real property coordinator, after several people, including City Councilman Jerry Mitchell, expressed concerns about the project to the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission.

The city had proposed acquisition of a 3.32 acre tract at Lupton and Dixie drives owned by Girls Preparatory School for the storage facility.

Mark Mullin, who heads the Fairfax Heights-Bagwell City-Lupton City Neighborhood Association, said he understands the need for such facilities, but "wholeheartedly" disagreed with the location.
"I don't think the city did its due diligence in informing the neighborhood," he said. "We'll oppose it."
"We're opposed to the extent we'd like to get more information,"DeVaney said. "This is the only access to the property."David DeVaney, president of NAI Charter Real Estate Corp., said he represented insurer BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, which is trying to sell a 216-acre site off Lupton Drive not far from the proposed storage facility.
The parcel is one of the biggest remaining undeveloped tracts along the Tennessee River in Chattanooga.
Mitchell said the process is "terrible" by which the city's public works department recommends a wet weather facility site, which is then taken to the planning panel for its approval before community input.

He said that while there's a sewage overflow problem in that area and it might cost more to move such a facility to another nearby location, he would favor doing so rather than "ruining a neighborhood."

A GPS spokesman sought to defer the matter, saying the school, too, has concerns about the location of the facility, noting it owns about 18 acres in that area.

Hart said there's "never a perfect place to put one of these storage facilities. It's not the perfect place, but it was as good as we could find."

Contact Mike Pare at or 423-757-6318.