Judge approves expansion of Birmingham Water Works Board

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If you’re a Birmingham Water Works customer, you may be welcoming a judge’s decision that assures a new law will go into effect next month, putting more checks on how the Water Works Board spends your money and more voices on that board.

On Monday, a judge ruled against the Water Works Board’s attempt to stop this law. For ratepayers this means there will be more eyes on how your money is spent.

After years of fighting, this decision means three more members will join the Water Works Board in January.

Blount County, Jefferson and Shelby counties will all appoint one person to the board starting Jan. 1. Shelby County should pick their person within the next two weeks.

The former Mayor of Irondale, Tommy Joe Alexander, will represent Jefferson County and Attorney Brett King will represent Blount County.

Former Alabama State Representative Paul DeMarco says he and several others worked on this legislation because they questioned how  the board was spending rate payer’s money.

“This Water Board, the pay was out of bounds. The travel expenses were out of bounds for a board that should be putting the rate payers first,” DeMarco said.

DeMarco also spoke about rate increases saying, “That’s been a problem. Rate payers get their bills and rates keep going up and up and up and we needed to have some folks really look at how the water board spends its dollars.”

DeMarco says that the water board spent thousands of dollars in legal fees trying to stop this legislation, but ultimately the judge sided with the ratepayers.

“The judge ruled in favor with those that have to suffer monthly from increased water board rates when the water board spends thousands of dollars on all kinds of issues and all kind of expenses, and there have been questions about how this board operates. So hopefully we have some reform in place that will bring some common sense into this Birmingham Water Works Board,” DeMarco continued.

Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

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