The Leesville mayor and City Council have under advisement a proposal to endorse a water and sewer line warranty program recommended by the National League of Cities.
Officials heard a presentation on the program, which would generate licensing revenue to the city, at Monday’s council meeting.
After the review by Dennis Lyon, regional official with the company, some council members seemed inclined to favor it. On the other hand, Mayor Rick Allen appeared dead-set against.
“I don’t like the endorsing idea. It makes people think it’s the only choice” they have for warranty insurance against line failures. “I’m not signing anything that puts the city logo on this,” the mayor added, adding, however, that the decision is up to a council vote.
The initial reaction to the proposal from Councilman Tony Shapkoff was favorable, though neither he nor other council members wanted to make a decision Monday.
Lyon said the agreement with city would entail its logo on letterhead, advertising, billing and marketing materials and signature by a city official.
In return, the city would receive 50 cents per month per product purchased (three products available) by any resident.
The program works much the same as warranty programs for appliances, vehicles, electronics, etc.
A customer pays a monthly fee for external sewer line warranty ($7.75 or $88 annually), external water line warranty ($5.75 or $64 annually) and/or in-home plumbing warranty, $9.99 or $114.99 annually).
In the event of leaking, clogged or broken water and/or sewer lines from the point of utility connection the warranty insurance pays for repair, up to $8,500 per repair incident. There is no deductible and no service fee.
The in-home protection applies to water and sewer lines connected to the main sewer stack that are broken or leaking inside the home after the point of entry. Coverage is up to $3,000 per incident with no lifetime limits.
The in-home warranty covers repair of clogged toilets, broken or leaking water, sewer or drain lines under the slab and has no deductible.
Lyon said his firm prefers to work with local licensed contractors/plumbers and ordinarily asks the city to supply a recommended list.
“Nearly two in five Americans don’t have the necessary funds set aside to cover a $500 repair,” Lyon quoted as a Harris Poll finding, yet almost almost three in five, he said had had an emergency repair in the last 12 months.
He touted the firm’s warranty program as an economical and prudent way for residents to prepare for the inevitable repairs to utility service lines.
Council members said they understood Lyons’ point, but some pointed out they also understood whose phone would ring should there be problems in the program administration.
Lyons said the program is now in place in more than 400 municipalities, large and small, with more than one million repairs performed in the past three years, repairs that save customers about $255 million.
The firm is expanding coverage into Louisiana. Lyons said several municipalities have proposals under advisement and one, Arcadia, has already signed on.
Endorsement by the city would not require any resident to purchase the warranty program. Additionally, the city’s endorsement would not prevent any other company from marketing a similar program in the city.