Chattanooga officials say a four-year sewer billing contract signed by the previous administration just plain stinks. And the city is working to clear the air with residents upset over millions flowing to an out-of-state billing company.

Brent Goldberg, the city's deputy chief operating officer, said Friday that Chattanooga is seeking to break ties with ENCO Utility Services, the California company now under contract for sewer billing.

Since ENCO started billing for the city in January 2013, residents have complained about bills that came only a few days before they were due and extra fees for payments made online and by phone.

The city pays ENCO $1.42 per sewer bill, and customers who pay their bills by phone or online pay another $3 fee. Those who pay at one of 22 retail locations contracted by the company are assessed an average $1.83 in fees.

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