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Sewer insurance offer on city letterhead has some residents puzzled
A letter from Prairie Village about an insurance program for sewer lines has a number of residents wondering about the financial arrangement between the city and the company offering the insurance policy.
The letter, signed by Mayor Ron Shaffer, encourages residents to consider enrolling in a policy that protects homeowners against “unexpected and costly outside sewer line repair” from Service Line Warranties of America, whose logo runs next to the city’s.
Assistant City Administrator Dennis Enslinger said the letter is part of a marketing partnership between the city and the insurance company. The arrangement was approved by the city council late this spring. Prairie Village receives 10 percent of the revenue from sales of the insurance policies in the city.
The rationale for entering the agreement, Enslinger said, was the fact that a large portion of the sewer line infrastructure in the city was built in the 1950s, when clay tile piping was used. Clay tile sewer lines are pieced together, and subject to damage from any shifts in the ground or infringement from tree roots.
“If your house was built in the 1980s, you probably have new sewer lines,” Enslinger said. “If it was built in the 1950s, it’s probably clay tile, and we know those get damaged easily.”
Several other local municipalities, including Roeland Park and Mission, are part of the program as well. Enslinger said the National League of Cities partnered with Service Line Warranties of America to bring the marketing program to individual municipalities.