Board of Estimates approves water rate hike

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The Baltimore City Board of Estimates approved a rate hike for city water bills Wednesday.

Earlier this month the Baltimore City Council approved the move to monthly billing. All these changes take effect on October 11, 2016.

Officials said the increase will benefit city infrastructure.

“The BaltiMeter Billing system provides a number of technological and economic advantages to our customers,” said Baltimore City Department of Public Works Director Rudy S. Chow, P.E. “It is just one of the changes we’ve been putting in place to make Baltimore’s water and sewer system strong and secure for generations to come.”

Over a three-year period rates will increase approximately 33 percent. The first incremental increase goes into effect on October 11, 2016.

City customers age 65 and older, whose annual household income does not exceed $30,000 will be eligible for a 43 percent discount on water and sewer consumption charges. And the credit for low-income assistance will be increased to $197, from $179, for eligible City customers.

Wholesale water charges to Howard and Anne Arundel Counties will be increased, as well as raw water charges to Carroll County. Baltimore County sets its own water rates.

The last quarterly bills will go out to all City customers in September; inserts in the September bill will have additional information about the switch to the new bill. The first monthly bills will begin going out in October, and continue into November.