The City Council voted 7-2 on Tuesday night to approve a consultant team to help launch the Moccasin Bend Clean Water Authority.
Voting against were Deborah Scott and Pam Ladd.
MWH Americas, Inc. is to be paid $100,000 for the contract work.
Legislation still needs to be passed at the state level before the new authority can move forward. A bill is working its way through the General Assembly.
A five-member board would preside over what is now the city public works programs of sewage treatment and stormwater runoff.