By: Diane Benjamin
Joni Painter was absent again last night, so her Ward wasn’t represented.
None of the alderman asked why government should be in the business of selling insurance! The bigger the government the better. The more people who can not exist without government largess, the more voters they have to keep them in power.
No, the $1.40 a month a month will not pay to fix the water and sewer lines running from your house to the street. All the $1.40 covers is up to $2500 in excessive water bills because of a leak the homeowner will still be required to fix at their expense. An estimated 28,000 homes (mentioned during the meeting) will automatically be enrolled if it passes. Homeowners can opt out by calling the company in Tennessee.
The Council didn’t blink when the water director stated implementation of the program would take many clerk hours since their billing system doesn’t allow just adding a line item to all bills. The water department can’t even print a report, maybe once a week, showing houses with spiking water usage due to leaks. Bob Yehl stated that depending on available staff time, they do review reports and contact homeowners. They rarely have available staff time. Smart meter technology must not be too smart.
Citizens will be paying a lot just to get this program started. A representative from the insurer, Servline, stated they are a for-profit company that is nearing break even. What if extensive staff time is used to implement the program and Servline turns out to be less than the sales pitch? Keep in mind, this is the only company offering this service.
Covering water and sewer lines is optional, although the Council didn’t seem to have a problem making that mandatory too. Coverage for water lines is $4.84 a month for $10,000 of coverage. Sewer lines are $6.60 a month for $10,000 of coverage.
For an additional $12.84 a month, $154.08 a year, homeowners could be fully protected from leaks and expensive repairs. Of course, that depends on the company still existing and paying claims when you file one and the cost not increasing in the future.
Older neighborhoods could greatly benefit, newer ones not so much. What happens if the older ones stay enrolled and the new ones opt out? Homeowners may not notice the $1.40 a month, they will notice an increase of almost $13.
Given history, why would any government plan be trusted?
There is now no limits to the power of your government because your elected officials have decided no limits need to exist.