Release: Comptroller Henry's Statement on DPW Water Rate Increase

Crest of the City of Baltimore

Bill Henry
Baltimore City
204 City Hall - Baltimore Maryland 21202
(410) 396-5410


Geoff Shannon, Public Relations Officer
(410) 387-5704


Comptroller Bill Henry's statement on today's water rate increase:

I want to thank everyone that spoke today and submitted comments to the Board in advance on this topic. I appreciate your thoughtful responses to this important issue before us.

I also applaud Mayor Scott, CAO Shorter, Director Mitchell and their team at DPW for finding a way to propose the most modest increase in local water and sewer rates that we've seen in the twenty-first century.

I will be voting to approve this rate increase because I agree that we desperately need to increase our investment in water, stormwater and sewer infrastructure. That's something I am reminded of every time I receive an email about a Sanitary Sewer Overflow.

As many of you know, back at the beginning of the twentieth century, Baltimore City built a world-renowned water system. And then we just sat back and ignored it.  For decades.

As a result, all of us today are now on the hook for the deferred maintenance that is the result of previous generations' policy decisions.

But I want to say very publicly to DPW that the funds from this rate increase shouldn’t be sitting in reserve accounts, making our bondholders happier. More of it needs to be actually invested in our infrastructure - providing preventive maintenance on our distribution systems, improving our water and wastewater treatment facilities, and planning for the future.

DPW's primary responsibility is to our ratepayers – and they are asking for a reliable system. It’s in our power to deliver that and so we should.

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