Answering questions about residents’ water lines would have been easier

The recent decision to terminate the city’s contract with Service Line Warranties of America (SLWA) effective next June takes away a great solution that many Kingman homeowners have used to protect themselves against high repair and replacement costs should the residential water or sewer lines on their property fail (Council cancels contract with water line warranty company, July 11).

Some residents have asked questions about SLWA’s mailings and optional service plans, wondering what their responsibility is for water lines on their properties. But rather than reassure residents that the mailings were part of the city’s partnership with SLWA – a BBB Accredited Business with an A+ rating – the City Council opted to cancel the contract. Yet just two years ago, the City Council voted unanimously in support of its partnership with SLWA. In fact, more than 370 communities across the United States have partnered with SLWA, which is also endorsed by the National League of Cities.

Since the partnership began in 2015, more than 350 Kingman residents have signed up for SLWA’s optional service plans to protect against problems with water and sewer lines on their property, and SLWA has made repairs for many in the city during this time. However, starting next June, homeowners will be left without the option to purchase water line service plans at a discount to ensure they are protected against the unexpected expense of an emergency repair.

The city council’s unanimous vote to support the partnership in 2015 is a testament to the council’s recognition that homeowners need to understand it is their responsibility, not the city’s, to pay for needed repairs to service lines on their properties. But when repairs can cost anywhere from $500 for a quick fix to thousands of dollars to replace an old or failed pipe, shutting down the program rather than answering questions is hardly the best solution and does nothing to assist homeowners in need.