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LSL lateral sewer insurance program could be on April 2015 ballot

Lake Saint Louis officials may ask their residents again to approve a sewer insurance program to help pay for repairing broken sewer lines.

The city’s Board of Aldermen, at a July 21 work session, discussed placing a sewer insurance program on the April 2015 city ballot. The program would help homeowners pay for repairs, of up to $7,500 per household, to lateral lines connecting their homes to a main sewer line.

In April 2012, city voters rejected a similar sewer insurance program, casting 922 votes or 55.5 percent against to 791 in favor. City voters approved a separate proposal on the same ballot requiring them to pay a new fee to create an insurance plan to cover water lines.

City Administrator Paul Markworth said the initial discussion is for a sewer improvement program financed through a $28 annual fee added to real estate taxes. City property owners now pay a $12 fee for the water insurance program.

Markworth said the city would expect to have 12 to 14 claims per year involving sewer laterals, with an average repair cost of about $3,500.

The previous ballot measure also had a $28 fee and required homeowners to pay a $300 application fee to have a city-contracted plumber diagnose the problem, through the use of video/camera line inspection. Under that measure’s regulations, the homeowner was responsible for hiring a contractor from a city-provided list of three bidding contractors. If the homeowner chose the lowest bid, the city would have paid the entire cost of the repair, up to $7,500.

City officials have not finalized details of the proposal that may go on the ballot next year.

Lake Saint Louis and St. Peters voters approved paying fees to create insurance plans to cover water line repairs. Sewer insurance programs have been approved in St. Charles and St. Peters.


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