Beginning this week, Osawatomie residents will receive an informational brochure and letter in the mail from Home Serve USA, an NLC (National League of Cities) Service Line Warranty Program by Service Line Warranties of America. SLWA will be mailing a reminder letter the last week of September.
Please browse their brochure linked below, and see our FAQ section for more information on this optional, voluntary service.
Some frequently asked questions include:
Why Did the City Council Approve this Program?
Many residents are not aware that buried water or sewer lines on their property are their responsibility. A broken or blocked water or sewer line can cost thousands of dollars to repair or replace and many times residents are not prepared for this unexpected expense. Service Line Warranties of America (SLWA) not only works to educate residents but also provides a solution. (Click here to see the Council packet and minutes related to this approval.)
Why Did the City Choose to Partner with a Third Party?
SLWA has been recognized as the trusted source of utility line plans endorsed by the National League of Cities (NLC). Many utilities today are using public/ private partnerships and they have been successful in keeping taxes low and providing cost-effective services to citizens. Most citizens enjoy the benefits of public/private partnerships–whether through branding at a sporting event in a utility owned facility or utility parks and other entertainment venues with naming rights, public/private partnerships provide revenue that would otherwise be borne by the citizens. Partnering with SLWA allows the utility provider to have oversight of the program and ensure benefits for its constituents.
Why Are They Using the City Logo? Does the City Profit from this?
SLWA’s partnership agreement with the City allows the company to use the logos in communications to indicate that there is a formal relationship in place and to let residents know that the offering is legitimate. All of the mailings SLWA sends to residents are first reviewed and approved by the City (usually the City Clerk’s office). All SLWA materials clearly state that the services the company offers are voluntary and that they are offered by SLWA, a private company that is separate from the City.
Do Residents Really Need This Coverage?
It is difficult to determine when a pipe may fail, with key contributors being the type of piping material, age of the service pipe, soil conditions and installation quality. The median age of homes in the U.S. is 36 years, and can be much higher in various parts of the country, which means many service pipes are functioning on borrowed time. Water line repairs can be costly – a replacement averages $2,500 nationally* – but the modest cost of an SLWA service plan is optional and up to the homeowner to decide based on their personal circumstances. (*Estimate based on national average repair costs, January 2016.)
For more information on the NLC Service Line Warranty Program by Service Line Warranties of America, call 1-844-257-8795 or go to www.slwofa.com