Service line warranty

After months of discussion, Bellevue Council voted at its regular meeting Tuesday to allow a private company to solicit service line warranty business using the borough’s logo.

Council members Anya Pikul and Jodi Hause began pushing for the program last summer, saying that it would help inform property owners that they are financially responsible for the cost of any repairs or replacements of service lines beneath their properties that transfer sewage, water or gas. Repairs can be quite expensive and, with Bellevue currently working on smoke testing residential areas to see if any sewer laterals may be cracked or broken, a warranty covering the cost of repairs could be a lifesaver for many property owners. The borough is operating under a mandate to eliminate ground water from the sanitary sewer system, and has reached the point that sewer laterals are being tested.

Pikul and Hause said many property owners were unaware of their liability, although council member Linda Woshner argued that residents have been receiving letters from Columbia Gas and other warranty companies for years. Woshner said that she had trouble getting information on what was covered by the NLS warranty program, which offered the borough a 50 cents per warranty per month commission for allowing use of the borough’s logo. Hause said that she and Pikul had decided to pass that commission on to Bellevue property owners rather than have the borough make money from the sale of warranties.

Although council voted 7-1 (Woshner opposed; Glenn Pritchard absent) to allow NLS to conduct business by using the borough’s logo, property owners should be aware that there are a number of warranty programs available through various companies, and prices for coverage may vary.