For Release 12 noon Wednesday, July 31, 2013
By Billy Ray McKelvy
De Queen Mayor
Travelers on Stilwell Avenue have been noticing some construction in the vicinity of the Kansas City Southern Railroad crossing.
This is part of a project to improve safety and add crossing gates that will block traffic when a train is crossing the highway. Construction should take two or three more weeks and the site will have a much improved appearance when it is completed. In addition, the crossing should be safer than before.
City residents are receiving letters that look like bills for insurance on the water service line to their home. The company, HomeServe, is offering water line insurance for $4.99 per month.
The letters look like official communication from the utility company, causing some people to be concerned that it is a bill they owe. But the company is in not associated with the De Queen Water System and the City of De Queen is not recommending the service to its water customers.
The letters state correctly that the water line from the meter to the residence is the responsibility of the homeowner. But the need to insure that pipe against failure is not as clear. Water customers should consider how often that line has failed and what the cost of repair might be if it something happened to it. Also, customers should investigate the company to find out if their record of paying when claims are filed.
Attorneys General in several states have complained that the offers look too much like bills and can cause confusion, instead of delivering peace of mind.
Instead of buying specialized water line insurance, Consume Reports magazine recommends putting the same amount of money in a rainy day fund instead. If you don’t have a leaky pipe, the money is yours to keep.