City could see 9 percent jump in water bills
The city's spending board voted today to hold a hearing to increase water and sewer rates by 9 percent -- the third consecutive year of substantial rate increases-- in an effort to offset the cost of federally-mandated improvements to the city's reservoirs and pipes.
The average family of four would pay about $88 more per year under the rate increases, according to the Board of Estimates agenda.
"We have to be sure we can pay for infrastructure improvements," said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.
The federal government has ordered the city to repair sewer lines to prevent overflows and cover reservoirs to prevent contamination, said Department of Public Works director Col. Alfred H. Foxx.
The board also voted to propose raising water rates by 9 percent for residents of Anne Arundel, Howard and Carroll Counties.
The rate increase, which is subject to a public hearing on May 18, represents the third consecutive 9 percent hike. Rates are expected to increase in 2012 and 2013 as well, said Foxx.
"We have been trying to hold the increases to single digits," but rates could increase more in future years, said public works spokeswoman Celete Amato.