One hundred years ago, nearly 90 percent white Baltimore saw the construction of the city's water infrastructure, which is still in use today.
In 70 percent black Baltimore, best estimates show at least 16 percent of city's residents get free water...Of course, the city is 70 percent black today, and losing citizens (it's white population is below 25 percent and dropping) on a daily basis.
With this new black majority, comes hilarious challenges only possible when a white majority is absent, namely the ability to provide sustain a first world quality of life.
You see, the new black majority (just like in Flint, Michigan) believes potable water is not just a right, but one that should be free.
Baltimore water discount program short of meeting need of tens of thousands of families, Baltimore Sun, June 17, 2017Civilizations do not happen overnight, nor can a civilization created by another race be maintained/sustained by an alien race once they've driven the former out by high rates of crime/dysfunction/misery from the latter...
As Baltimore continues to raise its water rates for city customers, the public works department has set a goal of doubling enrollment in discount programs to help the poor and the elderly.
But even if the city hit that target — and records show it is not close — it would be missing tens of thousands who could qualify for reduced monthly bills.
Nationwide, water rate increases are outpacing inflation, pushing bills to levels in the next five years that researchers say could become unaffordable for one in three U.S. households. In Baltimore, rates are scheduled to rise this summer and again next summer, doubling the cost of water in just eight years.
Baltimore officials say they're eager for needy customers to sign up for the discount programs. Critics say they're not doing enough to make that happen.
Adding urgency: Customers who fail to pay their water bills may eventually lose their homes to tax sale.
"It's definitely clear that a lot of people have no idea that discounts are available," said City Councilman Kristerfer Burnett, who represents West Baltimore. "In my position, we take a lot of those calls for help. I am very well aware of the impact that the rates have had on people.
"When you talk about the prospect of a tax sale, it is deeply troubling."
Officials say they are in a bind: Rate increases are necessary to fix the city's century-old water infrastructure and pay for more than $2 billion in federally required repairs to stop sewage from entering the city's waterways. But the increases have made it more difficult for Baltimore's sizable low-income population to make the payments.
The city offers three discount programs to help the poor pay their water bills.
Officials have set a goal of enrolling 10 percent of customers — roughly 20,000 water accounts.
But at most, public works figures show, 8,800 water accounts are enrolled.
Far more would likely qualify. Many more Baltimore households are enrolled in state utility discount programs, which have similar eligibility criteria.
Some 21,000 city households are in Maryland's electricity and heating financial aid programs. A spokeswoman for the state Department of Human Resources said internal figures indicate as many as 60,000 households could be eligible.
Public works spokesman Jeffrey Raymond said the agency wants everyone who is eligible for discount water programs to enroll, but he put the onus on customers to sign up. Customers who have trouble paying their bills should contact the department.
"By all means: Let us know," Raymond said. "We want to make sure we're hearing from people who need assistance."
He said the city's new meters and billing systems have empowered water customers by giving them information about their usage, including signs to spot potential leaks. The information can help customers figure out how to change their habits and identify plumbing problems to reduce their bills.
The public works department engages in a variety of efforts to market the financial aid programs and get people the discounts, Raymond said. Officials distribute fliers to senior centers and nonprofits, keep applications on hand in the office at 200 Holliday Street and train customer service representatives to screen people for the programs.
The city's discount plans target families that make less than 175 percent of the poverty rate and poor senior citizens. Raymond said the programs cost the city roughly $1 million in revenue each year.
Raymond said the agency is considering assembling lists of potentially eligible customers by looking at who is signed up for other anti-poverty programs.
About 4,100 accounts are enrolled in the Hardship Exemption Program, which excuses low-income water customers from paying a monthly fee for environmental cleanup, which is a maximum of $15 a month.
Baltimore has 622,793 people living in the city, and 20,000 households enrolled in discounted water bill program represents only three percent of the city, but how many people live in each of these households and enjoy virtually free potable on the (shrinking) tax payers dime?
Say on average five people reside in each of the 20,000 eligible households receiving discounted water bills, then you are talking about 16 percent of the city's residents basically receiving free potable water.
Adds up quick.
All in all, the quality of life and conditions found in 70 percent black Baltimore in 2017 are a reminder why white people in 1917 Baltimore (nearly 90 percent white) passed laws and social policy to exclusively protect their interests and their posterities future.
And the civil rights revolution not only did away with those sane policies protecting western civilization, but ushered in a world where black people have a right to free potable water...