Policy 6-3 MITIGATION PAYMENTPROCEDURES FOR REDUCING THE NUMBER OF SEWER BACKUP AND ASSOCIATED COST DUE TO DAMAGE CLAIMS

COUNCIL POLICY NO. 6-3

DISTRIBUTION    Mayor and City Council
            All Departments

SUBJECT    Mitigation Payment Procedures for reducing the number of sewer backup and associated cost due to damage claims.

PURPOSE    Whereas, it has become apparent that the cost of the processing and paying of sewer backup claims is very costly and is becoming even more so, and

    Whereas, it is technologically feasible to prevent many of these sewer backups and thus reduce or eliminate the damages occasioned thereby, and

Whereas, this Council has determined that it is in the public interest to establish a City of Lawton Policy to provide assistance to residents by covering a portion of the cost for the installation of Sewer Gravity Backwater Valves on sewer service lines attached to City of Lawton Sewer Mains with a known defective condition, and

Whereas, the minor cost of the installation of the Gravity Backwater Valves in relation to the cost of the payment of damage claims is for a public purpose and in the best interest of the City the City Council of the City of Lawton hereby establishes the following policy for the installation of Gravity Backwater Valves on privately owned sewer service lines attached to sewer mains of the City with a known defective condition.

BACKGROUND    The City has paid property damage claims as a result of sewage backups which have caused damage to private property. The City has paid these claims after having been put on notice that sewage backups have occurred caused by problems with the City sewer main. The purpose of this policy is that the expenditure of money to mitigate damages from sewer backups on sewer mains with known problems in advance will save the tax payers an enormous amount of money in the future because the potential for damage due to sewage backups will be greatly reduced. This policy should effectively prevent or reduce property damage due to second or subsequent sewage backups.

POLICY/
PROCEDURES    Property owners who have suffered damage and whose sewer service line is attached to a City sewer main with a known defect may apply for assistance in the installation of a Gravity Backwater Valve.  A line with a known defect is a line that has caused a backup of sewage in a structure.  Pamphlets describing the procedure may be obtained from the Licensing and Permitting Division.

This pamphlet shall describe the procedure for filing a claim by qualified property owners for up to two hundred ($200.00) dollars for the installation of a Gravity Backwater Valve on their private sewer service line.

A property owner may apply for assistance on a form to be provided indicating the owner name and street address of the property and the name of the plumber who will make the installation.  The application shall be submitted to the Licensing and Permitting Division.

A review of the qualification of the property for assistance shall be made by the Public Works Department to determine if the service line of the property is attached to a City of Lawton sewer main with a known defect.  Once a determination is made the applicant shall be notified in writing of the applications approval or denial.  If approved, the notification shall state that the approval is good for sixty (60) days from the date of notification.

Claims for payment of reimbursement of up to two hundred ($200.00) dollars for the installation of Gravity Backwater Valves shall be filed with the Licensing and Permitting Division. The claimant shall submit a completed claim form with a copy of a paid invoice for installation. Claims for payment shall be considered for reimbursement for labor and/or materials for the installation of an approved Gravity Backwater Valve.

Mitigation assistance payments can only be considered when;

1.    Proof of installation of an approved Gravity Backwater Valve by persons authorized to do plumbing work within the City of Lawton and ;

2.     Proof of inspection and acceptance of the Gravity Backwater Valve installation work by the city Plumbing inspector is submitted with the claim for payment.

The Supervisor of Licensing and Permitting upon receipt of a claim shall forward it to staff for verification. The Licensing and Permitting Division will maintain a register showing claimants name, date filed, address at which the installation was claimed for payment and final determination by the City Council.

Following Council action to approve reimbursement for installation of a Gravity Backwater Valve, the appropriate division will immediately initiate a requisition for payment to the claimant for an amount not to exceed two hundred dollars ($200.00).

Payments for reimbursement for mitigation efforts by installation of a Gravity Backwater Valve will be paid by the appropriate budget activity within the budget adopted by Council.

Installation of the Gravity Backwater Valve shall be at the expense of the property owner with the exception of the reimbursement amount up to and not to exceed two hundred dollars ($200.00).  Once installed, any and all maintenance of the Gravity Backwater Valve device shall be at the expense of the property owner.  Such Gravity Backwater Valve shall be installed no deeper than 24 inches from ground level.

Upon approval for reimbursement of a claim, and in consideration of payment of same, the property owner and the City shall enter into an agreement providing that from and after installation of the Gravity Backwater Device, the City shall assume no future responsibility or liability for any damage that should occur as a result of a faulty or malfunctioning Gravity Backwater Valve device or any sewer backup that might occur.  Such agreement shall further be filed with the real estate records of the County Clerk of Comanche County, the terms of which shall inure to and run with the land.

This program is only available to those citizens whose property is connected to a City sewer main with known problems and shall not apply where the installation of the Gravity Backwater Valve is more than 24 inches below ground level.

The City Council may consider the advisability of requesting the installation of a Gravity Backwater Valve as a part of the approval of any payment of a claim for damages.  If so approved, the provisions of this policy shall apply.

REFERENCES    None

EFFECTIVE DATE  This policy became effective May 27, 2003

RESPONSIBLE
DEPARTMENT    LICENSING AND PERMITS DIVISION



_____________________________
CECIL E. POWELL,
MAYOR
May 28, 2003

Attachments:        Application for Reimbursement        A
            Agreement with Homeowner        B
            Sewer Backup Prevention Program    C
               Information Pamphlet


(6-3, Added, 05/27/2003)