BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – The Birmingham Water Works Board has passed its 2020 operating and maintenance and capital budgets.
The Board approved an operating & maintenance budget of $104,867,175, and a capital budget of $81,484,428 for FY 2020.
According to a news release, the Board plans to use some of the money to invest in existing infrastructure to replace aging water mains.
That means Birmingham Water Works customers will see a 3.9% rate increase, weeks after a public hearing where Birmingham residents voiced concerns after learning the Water Works Board is nearly a billion dollars in debt, despite rate increases being implemented nearly every year.
Nearly 600,000 people will be impacted.
BWWB spokesman Rick Jackson says that rate increase is necessary to keep up with costs.
“Our customers are always number one, and we have to look holistically at what it takes to properly run this utility,” says BWWB Spokesman Rick Jackson.
“Decisions are made to not only keep the promise of clean, reliable drinking water to our current customers, but to also keep that same promise for generations of families to come. All over this country, the price of things goes up every year.”
The rate increase for Birmingham Water Works is effective by January 1, 2020.