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Mason City man to receive $2,500 payout from city to repair damage caused by clogged sewer line


This news story was published on January 20, 2016.
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City Hall in Mason City

City Hall in Mason City

MASON CITY – Christmas came late for a Mason City citizen, but a $2,500 handout from the city’s “moral obligation program” will be delivered nonetheless to repair damage caused to his home from a clogged sewer line.

Even as other citizens pay out-of-pocket to fix their broken sewer lines and the damage they cause – which can cause nasty sewage backups in basements – the Mason City council approved a recommendation from city administrator Brent Trout to pay $2,500 to Tom Landgraf of 323 South Maryland.

Through no fault of the city, Mr. Landgraf’s sewer line became clogged, causing sewage to back up into his basement. City personnel came out and unclogged the line for him. The resulting damage from the sewage led to Mr. Landgraf submitting a claim to the city’s insurance policy in the amount of $4,373.43, which was denied because the city is immune to those claims.

Using the city’s “moral obligation program”, the city council agreed to pay Mr. Landgraf $2,500 to help cover the repair costs from the sewage backup.

The city’s “moral obligation program” has a $5,000 limit per incident and a limit of $10,000 per year. In this case, the city’s insurance will still pay 75% of the bill ($1,857) and the city must pay the rest ($625).

The Mason City council was somewhat baffled as to whether or not to arbitrarily pay these funds, with Travis Hickey fearing the “subjective” nature of the decision would set a bad precedent. However, only Janet Solberg voted “no” to make the payment.

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6 Responses to Mason City man to receive $2,500 payout from city to repair damage caused by clogged sewer line

  1. Avatar

    LVS Reply Report comment

    January 21, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    I have had to have mine cleaned out three times because of roots in the city line. I wonder if they will reimburse me.

  2. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 21, 2016 at 4:26 am

    Now if Joe “average” citizen filed a claim I wonder what would happen. I sure missed the boat, my sewer backed up in the past due to no fault of the city, I forgot to file a claim, not that way in the future

  3. Avatar

    Jake From State Farm Reply Report comment

    January 20, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    Solberg sells insurance, doesn’t she?

    • NIT Publisher

      NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

      January 20, 2016 at 9:00 pm

      Ya, I think she goes door to door.

  4. Avatar

    Grammar Reply Report comment

    January 20, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    Obama is a President. This is a precedent. Big difference.

  5. Avatar

    Sad But True Reply Report comment

    January 20, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    many people in the past and for sure in the future are going to have sewer backups do to ageing city pipes. This is a great president. Get in line