Sioux City mayor pushes for mandatory water line insurance for residents
By Kristen Johnson, Multimedia Journalist/ Weekend Anchor - bio | email
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -
According to Sioux City estimates, last year residents spent more than $520,000 to have the water lines on their properties repaired and replaced.
Sewer line breaks amounted to another $300,000.
While city crews repair the mains and pipes on public property, it's up to home owners to take care of any breaks on their own property.
So, Sioux City's mayor has asked city staff to design an insurance program for all residents which would contract local plumbers to do the work.
The mayor says he doesn't see this as a source of revenue for the city, but a way to save its residents from paying high insurance insurance premiums to private companies.
“I don't want to spend $5,000 putting a new water line in. I'd sooner spend $2.50 a month. I don't notice $2.50 a month, but I notice $5,000 and I think the average citizen out there, we're all running the risk that we're the next water line that's going to break,” said Bob Scott.
However, the city's public works director has some concerns.
"I personally think the logistics of us providing it is complicated. We have a system in place right now that we are providing, and it's a logistical, complicated nightmare, pointed out Jade Dundas.
One resident told city leaders the program would give him peace of mind. Others said they'd rather take their chances than pay for a service they may never need.
“I think it's something the city should do. I think that because of the age of everything in Sioux City, I think it's a good avenue for them to look at,” said Dennis Usher.
"I just call the utility contractor and write a check. I just prefer to self-insure my own contingencies in life,” said James Gengler.
To control costs, officials said the program would have to be mandatory. They say they won't know the exact cost until the bids come in, but believe it would amount to a couple extra bucks a month on your utility bill.
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