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Fee increase set for Lake Saint Louis water line insurance program

Lake Saint Louis residents will see a fee increase in a water line insurance program that helps pay for broken or leaking service lines.

The city’s Board of Aldermen approved a bill at its Aug. 20 meeting raising the fee to $6 annually from $3 annually. The fee allows residents to file a claim for reimbursement for repairs or replacement of private water service lines from their home’s exterior foundation wall to the public main. The insurance can cover expenses for street, sidewalk and driveway replacement associated with repairs and sod for yard repair.

Single-family homes, duplexes, villas, condominiums and multi-family dwellings with four units or less are covered.  Funds are distributed annually on a first-come, first -served basis until funds are depleted. Unfunded projects can be placed on a waiting list for the next year.

The program provides a maximum of $3,000 per household, with higher charges being the homeowner’s responsibility.

City Administrator Paul Markworth said the popularity of the program has grown since voters approved the water service insurance program in April 2012.

“We’ve had so many claims that the reserves we built up after the first year were being depleted,” Markworth said. City staff recommended the increase during budget discussions.

“We’ll take a look again next year to see how we’re doing as far as managing the fund,” Markworth said. “If we are able to lower it [the fee]voter next year we certainly want to do it.”

The increase will not require voter approval because voters approved a $12 cap in 2012.  The city also has a sewer lateral program, which helps with sewer line repairs and also was approved by voters. That program is “pretty stable,” Markworth said. “It’s a pretty good deal for residents to have these programs in place.”

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