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City reverses plan to layoff workers, outsource water meter responsibilities

Plan to fight rising water bill costs
Posted at 2:51 PM, Jan 22, 2021

BALTIMORE — Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott has reversed course on action taken by his predecessor, to outsource the city's water meter responsibilities to independent contractor, Itron.

Last October, then Mayor Jack Young said the move would have saved the city $50 million over five-years, but resulted in about 63 layoffs.

The decision was made amid ongoing issues with water meter maintenance, installation, and responsiveness.

RELATED: 63 city workers to be laid off once contractor takes over water billing, meter reading

Scott said Friday there's no need to contract out or layoff anyone, because the city's current workers are capable as long as they receive quality training.

“I believe this new plan is needed to ensure fairness to the employees who have not received adequate training or leadership in the past,” said Scott. “I look forward to better managing this operation for the benefit of our residents across the city.”

Muddying the waters even more is the fact that the Baltimore County Council already approved a contract with Itron.

However Baltimore City also runs their meter systems, so at this point it's unclear how Scott's decision will impact the county.