- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 5, 2014

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A bill to restructure the Birmingham Water Works Board has stalled in the state Senate.

Republican Sen. Jabo Waggoner of Vestavia tried passing a bill Wednesday to expand the water system’s board to add members from outside Birmingham.

Democratic Sen. Rodger Smitherman of Birmingham started filibustering the bill. Waggoner tried getting the Senate to vote to cut off the filibuster, but he fell one vote short. At that point, the Senate voted to postpone consideration of the bill.

The Birmingham City Council currently appoints the five members of the board. Waggoner says the board needs broader representation because the water system serves portions of five counties, and the majority of its customers are from outside Birmingham.

Smitherman says the bill is part of an effort to diminish Birmingham.

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