DPW Presents Lowest Water/Sewer/Stormwater Rates Proposal to Board of Estimates in Decades

Green banner with DPW logo and text "Department of Public Works Press Release"

The Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW) has asked the Board of Estimates (BOE) for a public hearing on June 15, 2022, to consider a 3-year rate proposal. DPW is proposing a 3.0% increase for Water, 3.5% increase for Sewer, and 3.0% for Stormwater service. The requested rate adjustment represents a 67% reduction from previous water rate increases.

This is the lowest rate increase proposal presented to BOE, the City’s spending board, by DPW and the City’s Department of Finance in over 20 years. “We are investing in initiatives to recover costs and ensure revenue stability while maintaining an affordable and equitable rate structure,” said DPW Director Jason W. Mitchell.

At its May 4 meeting, BOE agreed to hear public comments and vote on the rate proposal during its June 15, 2022, meeting at 9 a.m. Residents will be able to participate in the meeting online or attend in person. Members of the public who plan to attend the meeting in person are encouraged to register online. Those unable to attend the hearing in person can use the online form to submit public comments.

Background information on the rate proposal and instructions for submitting BOE Public Hearing comments can be found on the Board of Estimates webpage.

Water Bill Assistance Available for Residents 

Adoption of the new rates would enable DPW to continue moving forward on vital projects needed to respond to aging infrastructure and comply with federal and state mandates. It would also support efforts to provide a more equitable and affordable billing structure for City customers through the new Water4All financial assistance program.

In February 2022, DPW began accepting applications for the new water assistance program, Water4All.  This financial assistance program provides a monthly discount for water and sewer costs based on a percentage of residents’ income. For the first time, tenants who do not directly pay their water bills are eligible to apply for water payment assistance.

During its May 4 meeting, the BOE also approved DPW’s participation in the Low Income Household Water Assistance Program to help residents who have fallen behind on water bill payments. These programs will support DPW’s efforts to assist water customers and help them stay on track with their water bill payments.

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