BALTIMORE (WJZ)--Putting a stop to gushing water in city streets will very soon put a squeeze on your wallet.
On Wednesday, the Board of Estimates approved a 3-year water and sewer rate hike for residents of Baltimore City.
Frustrated taxpayers flooded the board room.
“Living on a fixed income, I cannot afford any of this,” said one resident.
Coming October 11, water bills will increase nearly 10 percent per year for three years. Sewer rates will also rise 9% annually.
Public works says lack of investment in infrastructure projects through the years means there’s no cash saved up to fund them.
Officials say some of the pipes–as old as 100–cost the city millions each year in emergency fixes.
“If we commit to an infrastructure replacement program that is proactive rather than reactive, the city will be able to manage and reduce these costs long term,” said Jay Price, with the Department of Public Works.
Some long-time residents, though, are looking for relief.
“I think it’d be a good idea, but I just wish they wouldn’t come after us all the time,” said Thomas Payne.
For now, the board decided the “permanent fix” will come directly from your pocket.
Official say you’ll also get your bills monthly, instead of four times a year.
The last quarterly bills will go out next month, and include more information about the switch to the new billing system.