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City Council gives final approval to storm water fees, pension overhaul

Two key budgetary measures are headed to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's desk after the City Council gave final approval Monday to new storm water fees and a pension overhaul.

The new storm water fees will cost homeowners between $40 and $120 a year. The rate depends on the amount of impervious surfaces that allow rainwater to wash pollution into Chesapeake Bay tributaries.

The council signed off on the fees — included in the city's $2.4 billion operating budget — without discussion. Councilman Brandon M. Scott voted against the plan, having previously voiced concern over the impact to his Northeast district.

Municipal workers will now have to contribute 1 percent of their salaries to the city pension each year for five years, growing to 5 percent. The increase is paired with a 2 percent raise each year for a total raise of 10 percent.

The pension increase applies to Baltimore's non-public-safety workers.

Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke voted against the pension plan and Councilwoman Sharon Green Middleton abstained.

Clarke has called the pension contribution increases excessive when factoring in the higher out-of-pocket health care costs workers now face.

The new spending plan takes effect July 1.



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