The Baltimore City Department of Public Works will begin hosting public meetings this week to answer questions and share information about proposed water rate increases and a financial assistance program.
DPW Director Rudy Chow and support staff will be on hand to answer water billing questions and offer on-site help from customer support. Employment opportunities will be shared--as well as information on water and sewer projects. The first meeting will be held this Tuesday evening at Gospel Tabernacle Baptist Church located at 3100 Walbrook Avenue.
DPW is requesting the Board of Estimates to approve a single, simplified, water billing assistance program for Baltimore’s most financially vulnerable customers. In addition, the request seeks a three-year series of rate adjustments, beginning July 2019, that continues repairing and maintaining our long-neglected water systems. Earlier this month, Chow said Baltimore City customers with a household income at or below 175 percent of the federal poverty level (currently $36,365 for a household of three) would be eligible for the program. Customers who already qualify for many common assistance programs will likely qualify for Baltimore H2O Assists.
“I am committed to protecting our residents and communities, creating a healthy City, and stabilizing water rates,” said DPW Director Rudolph S. Chow. “This proposal helps get us there.”
Chow says DPW anticipates that as early as fiscal year 2023, rate increases may begin to slow as the crucial multi-billion dollar construction program over the last few years begins to catch up with the backlog of aging infrastructure. As soon as fiscal year 2027 the rates should reach a steady state, with increases closer to the rate of inflation.
DPW would continue to offer grants and payment plans to customers who need help catching up on their bills.
SCHEDULE FOR PUBLIC MEETINGS:
December 11, 2018
Gospel Tabernacle Baptist Church
3100 Walbrook Ave
Baltimore, Md. 21216
6 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
December 12, 2018
National Federation of the Blind
200 E. Wells St.
Baltimore, Md. 21230
6 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
December 15, 2018
New Waverly United Methodist Church 644 East 33rd St.
Baltimore, Md. 21218
9 a.m. to noon
December 18, 2018
Public Safety & Training Facility 3500 West Northern Parkway Baltimore, Md. 21215
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.