BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - It was standing-room only inside the Birmingham Water Works Administration Building on Thursday night as customers, boards members and employees listened to a proposed budget that included a possible rate increase.
Customers could see percentage raise from 2.9 to 3.9 percent. Customers like Brenda Ward listened to what this increase would mean to her monthly budget.
"I’m outraged by the whole thing because I’m a senior citizen and there are other people in the same situation that I’m in. Why in the world are you trying to raise the water bill when you have straightened out the things you have going on?,” she said.
Many people stood before the board with issues with their bills, which they say point to a bigger problem - something they call inefficiencies with the company.
"It’s a problem. It’s a problem within,” Ward said.
The rate increase will cover aging pipes, equipment and cost of living raises for employees. Keith Mims, who also attended Thursday’s public hearing, said he understand why there’s a need for a rate increase.
"The increase is very far for the services you’re getting. That’s not a substantial amount. You’re talking difference of $2 to $3 a month. You’re talking going to the fast food restaurant once or twice less a month,” he said.
Board members tabled their vote to pass this budget and rate increase to take in consideration customers comments.