Is Birmingham Water Works getting a rebate, and what will they do with it?

Where is BWWB rebate going?

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Federal prosecutors say a subcontractor working for engineering firm Arcadis and an Arcadis executive overbilled the company, and that caused Arcadis to overbill the Birmingham Water Works Board (BWWB) more than $250,000.

During the trial of former Birmingham Water Works Board Member Sherry Lewis on ethics charges, current board member Tommy Joe Alexander testified Arcadis is now trying to repay “hundreds of thousands of dollars” to the Water Works. So we wanted to know, will the water works cut the almost 4 percent rate increase they’re voting on next week?

“We’re in the middle of our budget process, that’s not something we’ve considered in our budget process,” BWWB General Manager Michael Johnson told us.

WBRC Investigative Reporter Jonathan Hardison asked, “Is Arcadis trying to refund money to the Water Works, can you confirm that?”

“No I’m not aware of that,” Johnson replied.

“But the Attorney General says that they are,” Hardison countered.

“I’m not aware of that,” Johnson replied.

We tried again Wednesday at a meter reading demonstration.

“Can you talk about whether you will cut that rate increase based upon the rebate Arcadis is giving you, the misspent funds?” asked Hardison.

“I can’t speak on that,” answered BWWB spokesperson Rick Jackson.

“Can you confirm whether that’s happening?” Hardison asked.

“No I can’t speak on that,” Jackson said.

“Again, what’s happening to the hundreds of thousands of dollars that Arcadis is allegedly refunding to you?” Hardison asked.

“I have no comment on that,” continued Jackson.

“But why? That’s public money - that’s ratepayer dollars,” Hardison countered.

“I have no comment on litigation, we’re here to talk meter readings and bills,” Jackson stated.

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