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Baltimore needs affordable water

East Baltimore resident Evelyn Anderson may have her house sold against her wishes in a tax sale because of an atypical water bill of $1,300 that she was unable to pay. (Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun video)

As a native Baltimorean and student, I was delighted to read the commentary, “A ‘more just water system’ in Baltimore” (Dec. 17). City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young asserts that water bills, incorrect water bills and tax sales of the water bills are far too prevalent.

In West Baltimore’s Sandtown-Winchester community, I see first-hand families who are struggling to pay their bills. My own household has been through ups and downs trying to budget and adapt to the rising costs, as well as pay off previous water bill debt. I’ve seen my parents have to take off from work, which also means losing money, to settle and correct water bill errors and payments.

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The city must adopt new practices that ensure its citizens have access to such a basic necessity at an affordable price. Luckily, my family has made it out in the clear. But after reading about how rates will be rising over the next three years (“Plan would raise Baltimore water rates over the next three years, offer poor residents help with monthly bills,” Dec. 1), I have to wonder what that means for my neighbors and relatives. I hope Mr. Young’s Water Accountability and Equity Act can halt this trend of rising costs.

Henry Kenney III, Baltimore

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