- Associated Press - Thursday, September 1, 2016

BALTIMORE (AP) - Baltimore officials have approved a major hike in the city’s water rates.

The city’s Board of Estimates voted Wednesday to raise water rates by 33 percent over the next three years. That means by the third year of the plan, a typical family will pay about $170 more for water than it does now.

Democratic Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake says the increases are necessary to modernize the city’s water infrastructure, which she says has been “languishing for decades.”

City Council President Jack Young and Comptroller Joan Pratt voted against the increase. The lame-duck mayor controls the other two votes on the five-member Board of Estimates.

More than a dozen people testified against the plan, saying it will harm low-income, elderly and disabled residents.

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