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Baltimore City, County to initiate review of water delivery system

TOWSON, MD – Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski and Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young announced on Monday that Baltimore City and Baltimore County would jointly initiate a comprehensive review of the business processes that govern the water delivery system that serves both jurisdictions.

Residents of both jurisdictions receive water through a system managed by the Baltimore City Department of Public Works under an agreement that dates back to 1972. In addition, an agreement reached in 1974 governs the shared sewer system. Baltimore City bills all customers for water use. Each jurisdiction bills its own residents for sewer charges and other related charges.

Given the age of the agreements, officials in both jurisdictions agree there is a need to evaluate their efficacy and determine whether changes are needed to modernize system management in order to improve customer service.

“Mayor Young and I are committed to providing residents with the best and most efficient service possible and this joint review will allow us to determine how we can modernize our water delivery system,” Olszewski said. “This is just one of many ways that we hope to work with the city in the years to come to improve the quality of life across the region.”

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“As Mayor, I am committed to excellent customer service for every customer that relies on our water system,” said Mayor Young. “County Executive Olszewski and I both agree that this essential review will evaluate and determine what is working well and demonstrate where we need to focus our improvements. We look forward to a continued and productive partnership with the county.”

In addition, the city and county are sending letters to approximately 14,000 County residents regarding the sewer charges that will appear on their 2019 property tax bills. Water consumption data from Baltimore City is one of the factors that the county uses to compute the Metro charges included in tax bills, but the recent ransomware attack in the city has affected computer systems that the county relies upon to obtain information needed to validate the Metropolitan District sewer charge.  Because of the ransomware attack, the county has been unable to validate a small percentage of accounts.

Residents whose accounts are affected will receive a letter. Those residents are encouraged to review their 2018 water bills and contact the Baltimore County Metropolitan District Financing and Petitions office with questions.

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