City of Washington

The city of Washington is not affiliated with a company that proposes to offer water line insurance policies to property owners here.

The company, American Water Resources (AWR), notified the city last week that it would be sending out a mailing to property owners regarding a program that would pay for repairs or replacement of lateral water lines on their property.

While the city maintains water and sewer mains, property owners are responsible for lines that connect to their homes.

During Monday’s city council meeting, City Administrator Jim Briggs explained that the company essentially is selling insurance policies to take care of a homeowner’s service lines.

“This is not being promoted by us,” Briggs stressed. “Our understanding is that the company is trying to get its foot in the door to buy out municipal water systems.”

“We want to let everybody know that this is not a city-sponsored project,” added City Counselor Mark Piontek.

Piontek said that a bill has been proposed in the state Legislature that would allow third-class cities to offer a similar program. If that would be adopted, property owners could pay an additional amount on their monthly utility bills to cover costs related to repair lateral water and sewer lines, he said.

Washington is the only third-class city in Franklin County.