Baltimore County Agrees To Pay The City $3 Million To True Up Water Balances

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Loch Raven Reservoir provides the water supply for Baltimore City, but is located within Baltimore County. (Credit: Van Fisher/ Patch)

BALTIMORE COUNTY - Baltimore County has agreed to pay $3 million out-of-pocket to settle an ongoing dispute with Baltimore City over water services.

Baltimore County and City share the same drinking water and sewage system, and according to officials, county ratepayers were undercharged from 2014 through 2018.

The settlement between the county and city totaled $9 million, a figure the city says makes up for the undercharges from budget years 2014 through 2018. The city relinquished much of this total due to outstanding debts with the county.

The city shaved off about 3.9 million from the settlement to reimburse the county for money it provided during the COVID pandemic to counter staff shortages in the city's public works department. Baltimore city also owed the county for water services in 2019 and 2022.

WBAL TV reached out to Baltimore City officials to better understand why county residents were paying less for water services.

"Baltimore City officials said in a statement sent to 11 News: City residents pay one bill for water, sewer, and stormwater. Also, city residents pay for operating and capital costs in the bill. The county bills are only for water. Sewer is billed annually on the property tax assessment, and stormwater is also treated differently. Their water bills are also just operating, and not capital."

Baltimore County officials released a statement describing the resolution as "fair and equitable."

"We are pleased to have come to a fair and equitable resolution with Baltimore City regarding outstanding water billing dating back to prior administrations. As we move forward, we look forward to continuing to engage in conversations about ways in which we can continue to modernize and improve our system's governance."

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