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At odds over rising water bills in Baltimore City

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The battle over rising water bills in Baltimore City is brewing. A study commissioned by ‘Advocates for poor Baltimore Residents’ finds the average Baltimore Resident will pay an annual water bill of $1100 by 2022. But Baltimore City Department of Public Works Jeffrey Raymond said they only have one rate hike currently on the books. Next July, water bills will go up 9.4-percent. Raymont said, "we don’t even have any rate requests in place for anything beyond June of 2019 so that is based simply on figures that don't exist yet. “

Mary Grant, with the ‘Advocates for Poor Baltimore residents’ says the federal government should be offering it’s help in Baltimore as it tries to fix aging infrastructure.

Grant said, "Baltimore can pass an income based water affordability program like Philadelphia this is a comprehensive solution to our affordability crisis this caps down at a level each household can afford to pay."

Key findings from the study analysis:

1. Water bills are rapidly increasing - water and sewer bills have more than doubled since 2010, and are expected to more than triple from 2010 to 2022.

2. By 2019, water bills will be unaffordable for the typical household in more than half the city

3. From 2010 to 2016, the projected losses for the water service billings jumped 154 percent and by an astonishing 1400 percent for the wastewater service billings.

4. A modern water affordability program will benefit the water utility financially by improving the payment patterns of low-income customers and reducing collection expenses.

Full Report:

https://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/sites/default/files/baltimore_water_study-final_report-2017.pdf

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