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Letter legit, city reminds residents

City gets stipend when homes buy company's sewer line insurance

Published: Friday, March 29, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

ROCK FALLS – The city's logo on the letter doesn't look quite like the one on official City Council agendas.

But the letter to Rock Falls residents signed by Mayor David Blanton is indeed from a sewer line insurance company endorsed by the city.

In fact, the city gets a small payment for every household that signs up.

Wednesday, Rock Falls resident Louis Brotheridge approached Sauk Valley Media wondering if the letter he received from Service Line Warranties of America was in fact approved by City Hall.

The logo on the letter is missing the usual birds, and the font for "Since 1867 - Rock Falls, Illinois" is different.

But the city does indeed back Service Line Warranties of America, which insures residential sewer lines not covered by city insurance.

The city first endorsed the program last year. The company is triple A rated by the Better Business Bureau and accredited with the National League of Cities.

The insurance is optional, and homeowners can choose any company they like, or not get the insurance at all.

The city receives a 10 percent royalty for every customer who signs up. No taxpayer money is being used to promote the program.

Last spring, more than 300 residents signed up for the program, City Administrator Robbin Blackert said, and the city earned $2,816 from the residents who signed up for the service in 2012.

The money goes into the city's general fund, Blackert said.

The National League of Cities Service Line Warranty Program, administered by Service Line Warranties of America, costs $5.95 a month and covers sewer line repairs up to $4,000, with an additional $4,000 coverage for street cutting, if needed.

Blackert said the insurance program is an "additional service we are trying to offer citizens." The company uses local plumbers, something the city wanted to be able to do, she said.

In a news release announcing the program last year, Blanton said many people are unaware that they are responsible for the sewer lines that go from their houses to the point of utility maintenance.

“If these lines break or leak, repairs can be very expensive," he said in the release.

Call Blackert at 815-564-1366 for more information.

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